STARS Provides 2004 $100,000 Scholarship to TAMIU

STARS Provides $100,000 Scholarship to TAMIU

The South Texas Academic Rising Scholars (STARS) Foundation presented a scholarship gift of $100,000 to Texas A&M International University in ceremonies held Tuesday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the President's Conference Room, Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 270.

Steve LaMantia, member of STARS Board of Directors, said the group's commitment is focused on higher education.

"Education is the single most important issue to address in our community," said LaMantia, "Our goal is to be the premier scholarship fundraising non-profit serving South Texas," he continued, "but the success of STARS could not be possible without generous supporters like International Bank of Commerce, Wal-Mart, Univision, and Anheuser Busch."

Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, applauded the STARS effort and the powerful corporate philanthropy it represents.

"We are tremendously excited about this gift and the realities it will make possible for our students. Equally powerful is the corporate philanthropy that STARS has been able to harness and guide to such a terrific impact," Dr. Keck said, "We would encourage like-minded groups to follow the STARS example."

LaMantia said the group is honored to partner with TAMIU in the scholarship effort.

"The University is fast becoming a major regional university of choice, with over 57 degree programs from undergraduate to graduate and now doctoral. STARS is proud to partner with our hometown university to help make our students' educational dreams possible, " LaMantia said.

The STARS scholarship recipients will be chosen on the basis of academic achievement, personal strengths, leadership and financial need. Students must have a permanent South Texas address, and be enrolled in a full-time degree-seeking program. Awards are for the 2004-2005 academic school year. Information is available from the TAMIU Office of Financial Aid, 326.2225.

STARS will award over $2 million in scholarships to South Texas Students in 2004. Funds were raised through 3 major fundraisers in 2003, featuring a performance by Paul Rodriguez and LeAnn Rimes in Hidalgo and Laredo and a performance by Tonight Show host Jay Leno in Corpus Christi.

Established in 2002 by founder and chairman Joe Lamantia Jr., the STARS Foundation is dedicated to offering South Texas students the opportunity for advancement in higher education through scholarship awards. It maintains its headquarters in McAllen.

Those interested in contributing to the scholarship fund may call 1-866-939-7827.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu