BY MATTHEW RODRIGUEZ | STAFF WRITER

McALLEN — The Border Texan Committee held a check presentation to donate $90,000 to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Thursday at the Mcallen City Hall.

At the annual check presentation, the 2019 Border Texan of the Year, UTRGV President Guy Bailey, announced that a $90,000 donation will be given to the university.

The committee started the check presentation by detailing the creation of the organization.

“Glen Roney, Henry Kawahata, Morris Atlas, and Joe LaMantia decided that it would be appropriate to recognize who was selfless in their work to better the Rio Grande Valley and the border community, and so they started the Border Texan of the Year event in 1989,” said committee co-Chair John David Franz.

The committee selects an annual Border Texan of the Year and recognizes the nominee at a banquet that serves as a fundraiser. Any proceeds raised at the banquet will be donated to the nominee’s choice of charity or cause.

The Border Texan of the Year is announced annually at the check presentation. COVID-19 has, however, delayed the nomination for the 2020 honoree until 2021.

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling introduced the formal 2019 Border Texan of the Year by highlighting his contributions in South Texas.

“He came down to create the greatest university, more than we ever expected and one of the best in the state of Texas” Darling said.

Prior to moving to South Texas, Bailey, 2019 Border Texan of the Year, served as president for the University of Alabama and Texas Tech University.

Since 2014, Bailey has served as president of UTRGV and has made numerous achievements with the university.

The U.S News and World Report in 2020 rated UTRGV the top public university in the nation for the lowest student debt after graduation, and also garnered fourth in the nation right behind Harvard, Princeton and Duke when including private universities.

Washington Monthly ranked UTRGV 86 out of 383 universities nationwide based on social mobility, public assistance and research.

As Bailey announced the $30,000 donation to the university, he fulfilled a promise he made at last year’s banquet.

“I’m writing a $30,000 check as soon as I get to the office today and the UTRGV foundation has also agreed to match with $30,000, so we have $90,000.”

Along with the $30,000 funds raised from last year’s banquet, Bailey and the UTRGV foundation have agreed to individually donate $30,000.

The donation will go toward funding student scholarships at the university. The university currently offers 200 full ride scholarships to the top 10% scholars and with the donation, it is expected to raise up to 400 in the fall of 2021.

“I cannot think of any better use of money in the Valley than investing in our students,” Bailey said. “I have a commitment to our students too and for me it is personally rewarding to see our students go to college and graduate.”