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UT Tyler Names Bill and Glenda Barrett Patriots of the Year

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February 14, 2012

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

February 14, 2012

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

Longtime supporters of The University of Texas at Tyler, Bill and Glenda Barrett have been named 2012 Patriots of the Year, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

The Patriot of the Year Award is given to a couple or an individual who has made enduring contributions to the advancement of the university and the community.

“UT Tyler has enjoyed a friendship with Bill and Glenda that spans two decades. They turned a favorite pastime, golf, into a life-changing experience for students. We can’t thank them enough for their continued support of our scholarship program and the deserving students it benefits,” Mabry said.

The university presented this prestigious award Feb. 10 during a Presidential Reception in the Barrett’s home. Mayor Barbara Bass proclaimed February 10, 2012 as “Bill and Glenda Barrett Patriots of the Year 2012” day in the city of Tyler.

The Barretts began their university support through the Eisenhower International Golf Classic, a scholarship fundraiser hosted by UT Tyler.

“This was our way of helping kids who really needed it,” said Glenda.

Barrett Motor Company sponsored a vehicle drawing for the fundraiser, which is now the Patriot Classic. He saw to it that there was a vehicle to be given away each year for many years. Glenda served as an ambassador, one of the many dedicated volunteers who staffed the event. Bill also sponsored a team each year in the golf tournament and eventually became a member of the Classic Society, an elite group of community leaders who provide the majority of the golf tournament’s support.

In 2005, the Patriot Ambassador organization honored Glenda’s efforts with a scholarship in her name, and in 2006 the Barretts established the Bill and Glenda Barrett/ Greater Texas Foundation Removing Educational Barriers Scholarship.

“This gift is now valued at more than $215,000 and provides continuous funding for future generations. Endowed scholarships like those that the Barretts have provided are crucial to so many East Texas students who are very bright, but still need financial help,” said Mabry.

Because of their clear vision, Bill and Glenda also recently established a very significant scholarship fund through their estate plan.

Scholarships are critical in the recruitment of the very best students outside the region, too, he added.

“Our choice to give to student scholarships was the best one for us, considering our priorities. We knew it was the way to educate a new generation, filling the shoes of retiring Baby Boomers who helped make this country successful,” said Bill.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

UT Tyler