History center receives funds for renovation

Allie Kolechta

A $1 million gift from the Terry Foundation will allow a UT historical facility to renovate for the benefit students and visitors.

The $1 million, which was a personal gift from UT alumnus Howard Terry and his wife Nancy, will go toward renovations and upgrades of student and visitor facilities at the Winedale Historical Complex in Round Top, Texas, said Don Carleton, executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Winedale is home to the University’s Shakespeare at Winedale program, a music program, special events and historical buildings.

“We want to upgrade really anything that might be used by students and visitors,” Carleton said. “We’re going to try to bring facilities up to current standards. It’s going to make a much better facility for students to use.”

The Briscoe Center plans to spend the money on new furniture and carpets, upgrading the bathrooms, painting, redoing the kitchen and anything else to improve the complex, Carleton said. Briscoe Center administration will rename the conference center and classrooms after the Terrys, he said.

“It’s just a godsend, frankly,” he said. “It’s going to be incredibly important to Winedale. This is a very generous and timely gift that’s going to really enhance the visitation experience, not only for students but for everyone who comes.”

Howard Terry grew up in the small town of Cameron, Texas, and attended UT on a football scholarship in the 1930s, said Ed Cotham, president of the Terry Foundation. Terry and his wife formed the foundation to give back to Texas by providing scholarships to needy students, he said.

The Terry Foundation will provide about 700 students from eight different universities, including UT, with scholarships this year, Cotham said. Each year the Terry Foundation and its scholars have a picnic in the spring at the Winedale Historical Complex, he said.

“Winedale is such a special place,” he said. “The students just love going there, and the Terrys just found the people there to be really special. They began thinking about something they could maybe do for Winedale and all the folks up there at the Briscoe Center.”