CALLING ALL TIGERS! TSU’s First Lady Launches “The Maroon & Gray Affair” to Help Raise Money for Much-Needed Student Scholarships

Texas Southern University (TSU) has a long history of using creative methods to better educate, equip and empower their students, and now they have added a new initiative to help raise money for students who are looking for a chance to further their education at the historic institution.

Texas Southern is launching a fresh, new event, which is sure to become a time-honored TSU tradition called “The Maroon & Gray Affair.” The event is a black-tie gala that will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Houston. Proceeds from the event will benefit the TSU student scholarship fund.

TSU’s First Lady, Loren Lane, saw an immediate need for scholarships among bright and talented students, and it didn’t take long for her to transform her idea into action. Working in concert with Texas Southern leadership, she created “The Maroon & Gray Affair,” where they will present an evening of elegance in support of student scholarships and programs, drawing inspiration from Texas Southern’s hallmark colors.

“The Maroon & Gray Affair” will build on TSU’s historic success in supporting students, particularly those who are first in their family to attend college, which represents more than 60% of our student population. Nearly 90% of TSU students receive some form of financial assistance. Funds from the gala will be designated to close the gap for students and prevent them from dropping out due to a lack of finances.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” is First Lady Lane’s personal motto – a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. These words encapsulate her commitment to securing the financial support necessary for these promising young minds.

President Lane and TSU administrators want students to focus on their education — not on holding multiple jobs just to make it to the baccalaureate finish line.

“Our students don’t drop out due to lack of ability, they stop out due to a lack of funds,” said President Lane. “We can drastically improve our annual graduation and retention rates by providing our students with a bridge over their financial challenges. The funds raised through ‘The Maroon & Gray Affair’ will allow these incredible young people to matriculate unencumbered from the start of their freshman year to the moment they walk across the graduation stage.”

One such student is Tramauni Brock, the University’s current student regent. Brock was in a situation many of TSU students find themselves in. She had taken out all the loans and awards available, and her parents could not co-sign on another loan. She faced an outstanding balance with the University which prevented her from enrolling in school, and it appeared she would have to put her education on hold. Thankfully, scholarship funds at the University were made available just in time to insure her future remains bright.

“Without receiving that scholarship I would not have been able to stay enrolled in the University and could not have returned the following semester,” said Brock. “This scholarship allowed me to stay enrolled in school and therefore paved the way for me to be able to network and work hard. This landed me in the pharmacy school where I am currently a P1. I also now have the opportunity to serve as the Student Regent for the 2016-2017 school year.”

“This is what we are all about at Texas Southern – taking our resources and providing one-on-one support to guide young people over the threshold and into a new life,” said First Lady Lane. Once you know the story, it’s just one more step to match the student with the right kind of help. It makes all the difference in the world.”

A strong host committee has been formed – a virtual “Who’s Who of Houston” – who are in line with First Lady Lane’s vision to aid young scholars who, in turn, will contribute to the city, the nation and the world.

“The Maroon & Gray Affair” will feature a prominent keynote speaker, a tribute to students and alumni who will be honored in presentation, as well as live entertainment and a lot more.

“The Maroon & Gray Affair” is one way to give to Texas Southern, but there are so many other ways for alumni, businesses, friends and philanthropic members of the community to give, particularly towards the Annual Fund that supports university scholarships for deserving students. All gifts are tax-deductible and used according to your wishes. You may give a restricted gift to support scholarships for a specific college or school; or you may give an unrestricted gift that will be used for the greatest need of the university.

There are restricted gifts such as:

PRESIDENT’S LEADERSHIP SCHOLARS: This program involves private philanthropy plus university matching money to create competitive scholarships to award top students. The donor pledges a $10,000 commitment to be paid over a 4-year period ($2,500 annually) and TSU will match $1,000 each year for a total scholarship of $3,500 per year. You will be matched with a specific student and support that student for four years, as long as the student remains eligible for the award. You have the opportunity to name your scholarship after yourself, or in honor or memory of a loved one.

GENERAL UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS: Texas Southern is committed to providing quality, affordable education to our students. Scholarships are merit based and help deserving students achieve their goals.

FUND SCHOLARSHIPS FOR A SPECIFIC COLLEGE/SCHOOL: There are ten different colleges and schools on the TSU campus and each awards scholarships to exemplary students. You may designate your gift towards a specific college or school.

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS: Your gift will support the Athletics department and provide scholarships for student athletes. You may specify a scholarship within a specific program or area (i.e. Football, Men’s or Women’s Basketball, etc.) to benefit from your gift.

ALUMNI RELATIONS PROGRAMMING: Designate gifts to support programs and events that give TSU alumni an opportunity to interact with students and each other, such as freshman orientation, career networking events, homecoming activities, senior luncheons and more.

MURAL PRESERVATION: Designate gifts to support the project dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the historic murals painted in various buildings throughout the University.

Individuals and businesses can also provide unrestricted gifts, which are of the greatest need to the university. Your unrestricted gift allows Texas Southern to apply your funds where they will make the greatest impact. Your gift may fund student programs, faculty support for research, equipment purchases or student scholarships.

For more information on the “The Maroon & Gray Affair” and other giving opportunities at Texas Southern, please contact TSU’s Office of Development, visit www.tsu.edu or call Texas Southern at 713-313-6844 or 713-313-1363.