San Angelo Exes Host President Powers at Scholarship Fundraiser

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When the San Angelo Chapter found out Mack Brown—the speaker at their annual scholarship fundraiser for the past 14 years—wasn’t going to be able to make it this year, the chapter leaders panicked. They were shooting for an ambitious goal of providing 14 scholarships to San Angelo-area high school seniors, and now their main attraction wasn’t going to make it.

“We were stuck with, ‘Are we even going to have a dinner, because who can we get who has the charisma of Mack Brown that people would pay extra to come here and speak?'” says San Angelo Chapter president Max Parker, BBA ’73, JD ’76, Life Member.

Parker knew they’d have to bring in the big guns if they wanted to succeed. So chapter member John Mark McLaughlin, BBA ’52, LLB ’54, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, put in a call to an old friend: UT president Bill Powers.

Prez PowersLucky for the Exes, Powers was available to attend the event—the chapter’s main fundraiser each year—last night at San Angelo’s Bentwood Country Club. There, he spoke to a sold-out crowd of more than 175 Longhorns about the future of higher education, and recognized the chapter’s latest group of scholarship recipients, which included valedictorians, all-district athletes, and academic UIL state champions.

“He really built up the students’ self-esteem,” Parker says. “He talked about how qualified they are to get into UT and how they should be proud of that. It was very humble of him to make sure they were recognized.”

Most of the scholarship recipients were able to attend the event, where they got the rare chance to shake Powers’ hand and snap a photo with him onstage.

The president’s presence paid off. The numbers are still coming in, but Parker estimates the fundraiser raised between $8,000 and $10,000—enough to provide for their 14 San Angelo scholars, plus two students from outlying counties. Additionally, attendees walked away from the night feeling more Longhorn pride than ever before.

“The guests left excited and proud to be Texas Exes,” Parker says, “and proud that William Powers is president of the University. They left there knowing that our University is in good hands.”

Top, scholarship recipient Emily Guevara with President Powers. Inset, Powers speaks to the crowd.

Photos by Max Parker.

 

 
 
 

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