UT alumnus gives $1 million toward Plan II scholarships

Lauren Giudice

Stuart W. Stedman, who graduated from UT in 1979, pledged a gift of $1 million to help students in two departments of the College of Liberal Arts.

Half of his donation will create a 40 Acres Scholarship for Plan II, and the rest of the gift will generate the Stuart W. Stedman Excellence Fund in History. The University announced the donation Monday.

“I transferred into UT my sophomore year. And, even though my grades weren’t stellar, Plan II leaders saw something in me,” Stedman said in a statement. “Plan II made me an educated person in the most well-rounded sense. I owe a big debt to Plan II. So doing something significant for the program has always been on my list of things I wanted to accomplish in life.”

The scholarship will pay full tuition, housing and other fees for top entering freshmen for up to five years and the excellence fund will create opportunities for history students and faculty to attend conferences and travel for research.

Stedman is president of Stedman West Interests, Inc., which manages securities, oil and gas properties and other land.

College of Liberal Arts spokesman Gary Susswein said Stedman has already given $150,000 and he will donate the remaining $350,000 for Plan II by 2013. He will contribute all of the $500,000 for the history department by 2017, Susswein said.

Plan II Senior Program Coordinator Jennifer Scalora said the money will be allocated through Texas Exes, so it will only be used for students and not programming for Plan II.

“We expect other Plan II entering freshmen will get other 40 Acres scholarships, but we’re certainly very happy and feel fortunate and very blessed to have Mr. Stedman make one that’s specifically for Plan II Honors students only,” Scalora said.

Phillip Dubov, development specialist for the Plan II Honors program, said it will be difficult to determine who will receive the scholarship.

“There will be an application period and a review committee, like other scholarship funds,” Dubov said. “It will be posted on the scholarship portal and then people can apply for it — the conditions will be placed there and then it will be reviewed.”