At a brief, on-campus ceremony held recently at Texas Southern University (TSU), Pappas Restaurants announced that their company is donating $540,000 to the university in support of its student housing initiative. Chris and Harris Pappas presented the check to newly-hired TSU President Dr. Austin Lane, who was joined by TSU Board Chairman Derrick Mitchell and TSU Foundation Chairman Gerald Smith, at the ceremony.
“Our University family is grateful for this generous gift from Pappas Restaurants as we embark on the next phase of providing a quality collegiate experience,” said Dr. Austin A. Lane, president of Texas Southern. “TSU is dedicated to the total well-being and success of every student, including an optimum academic experience for all seeking higher education.”
Texas Southern is scheduled to open a new, 800-bed dormitory in August of this year, complete with state-of-the-art technology, a rooftop garden, and first-floor retail space. The new dormitory will be a major step forward as TSU continues its First Generation program. The First Generation program is designed to provide academic, social and career guidance to incoming freshmen and sophomores to increase retention and improve graduation rates.
“On behalf of Pappas Restaurants, my brother Harris and I are proud to partner with Texas Southern University with this donation of more than a half a million dollars,” said Chris Pappas, co-owner of Pappas Restaurants. “The work that TSU does enriches not only the lives of the students on their campus, but also the entire Houston community. As native Houstonians, we strongly believe in supporting higher education in our hometown, and we are excited that our contribution will provide a place for students to live, study and support one another while pursuing a college degree.”
Pappas Restaurants, which includes Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappasito’s Cantina, Pappas Seafood House, Pappas Bar-B-Q, and many other restaurants, has a history of showing its commitment to making a positive difference in the community and being a good neighbor, in that they are proud sponsors of the Boys and Girls Clubs, local food banks, literary and education initiatives, especially those designed to help children or the disadvantaged and disabled, and other charitable endeavors.
In establishment partnerships such as this, TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.