Providing for the Next Generation of Teachers, Researchers, and Leaders
Janis Forse Wells knows what it’s like to face adversity. When she was a UT undergrad in the mid-1960s she was studying to be a teacher and she was a single mom. She struggled to balance parenthood with being a successful student. “I know how difficult it is to be in school, trying to be a good parent and trying to get an education for a better life for your child,” she says.
“If I can make it possible for someone else, I want to because creating a better world for the next generation by providing excellent teachers has always been something I would like to do,” she says. She knows that the college experience can be life-changing. “When I was a student at UT my professors kindled the idea within me that I could achieve what I set my mind to do.”
Wells recently established the Janis Forse Wells Endowed Scholarship in Elementary Education and left an additional gift to UT in her will to support the scholarship. She wants to help other young single parents who are working hard to achieve their dream of teaching. “This is something I can do now, and when I’m gone, I can continue to support students as my legacy.”
“The power of being able to give to others at this time in life is an incredible feeling,” she says.
“I encourage others to understand how great the need is and to understand at the same time, how simple it is to help someone else through a gift like a scholarship,” Wells says. “I hope that we, as alumni and friends of the college, can offer even more partial or full scholarships so that students going into teaching or health careers from the College of Education will graduate without debt.”
“As undergraduates, we both struggled with the cost of attending UT. We’ve been blessed since graduation and wanted to pay it forward. We are hoping that this scholarship can alleviate some of the financial stress for College of Education students. Our hope is that the funds allow them to focus more on their academics and help them achieve their goals.
Alberta and Richard Hogeda have established the Alberta and Richard Hogeda Family Scholarship. She is a 15-year firefighter with the City of Austin, and he is assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Education. Richard received his master’s in education in 2002.
Growing up in West Columbia, Texas, Betty Bird developed a love for history. When she enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin, she knew she wanted to be an educator. She combined her passions for a more than 30-year career as a high school U.S. History teacher.
After graduating from the College of Education in 1963, Bird started her career in Victoria, Texas. After five years, she returned to Austin and she taught U.S. History at McCallum, where she had done her student teaching. From there, Bird went to Austin’s Crockett High School, where she taught the subject for 27 years. “It was exciting to see my students learn, to know that many of them developed a love for history, too,” she says.
Bird’s love for education and her experience in the College of Education has inspired her to make a gift to the College through her estate to establish The Betty S. Bird Endowed Scholarship in Education. She chose scholarship support because, “when I was on the faculty at Crockett, I was on the scholarship committee for more than 20 years. You see the need that students have when you’re in a situation like that.”
Bird wants to benefit generations of future graduates. “I hope new teachers enjoy teaching as much as I did. I hope I made an impact on my students and that future College of Education graduates have an impact on theirs,” she says.
For 15 years, Richard Mattingly worked with College of Education students as assistant dean for student affairs. He guided them in course choices and helped them navigate decisions about their careers. When he retired in 2012, he didn’t want his support for students to end, so he established the Richard A. Mattingly Endowed Scholarship. “I loved working with students and I wanted a way to help those who really needed it. I thought, ‘How else can I give back?’ A scholarship seemed like a great solution,” he says.
Benjamin Schwertner is a sport management major in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education (KHE). “I really appreciate Mr. Mattingly’s generous support. Like many other students, I struggle to completely afford the cost of such a great educational opportunity. This scholarship is helping me continue with a little more peace of mind. His support is really meaningful to students like me and I truly am grateful for it.” Chastity Chov is another beneficiary of Mattingly’s vision and is a senior studying athletic training. “Mr. Mattingly’s support is giving me the momentum to pursue my goal to be the first person in my family to earn a master’s degree and of being a female athletic trainer for a professional sports team. I am so grateful for his generosity and support.”
Cory and Priscilla Redding
Gridiron glory is not all that motivates former Longhorn football standout Cory Redding, B.S. '17. The former Indianapolis Colt and his wife, education alumna Priscilla, B.S. '03, have established the Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship in the College of Education. This was the university’s first gift from a former UT athlete made while playing in the National Football League.
The Cory Redding Foundation supports long-term efforts to help the endowment grow. Redding, meanwhile, interacts as often as possible with the recipients. He’s interested in giving back because he values teachers who keep students on the right track. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for key people in my life mentoring me and keeping me grounded,” he says.
Redding completed a degree in youth and community studies in the College of Education in 2017. Priscilla earned her degree in applied learning and development. The Reddings specified that their endowment help undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Growing up with humble beginnings, Redding says he has lived his life according to three basic values: desire, discipline, and dedication. He expects the scholarship recipients to exhibit the same spirit. “I chose the College of Education to create this endowment because I wanted to make this world a better place, one person, one kid at a time,” says Redding.
Redding, a two-time All-American and first-team All-Big 12 defensive end at Texas, was part of Coach Mack Brown’s first recruiting class for the Horns. After playing in 52 games at UT, he started his pro career with Detroit, later playing for Seattle, Baltimore, and Indianapolis. After retiring from football, he and Priscilla relocated to Austin with their three children.
“In the days when my wife and I are no longer here, our grandchildren’s grandchildren will hopefully be part of this process, continuing this endowment,” he says. “One hundred years from now, they’re going to look and see the Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship, and to me, that is better than any accolade I could ever achieve on the football field.”
"It is always an honor to have our students come back and be supportive alumni," says Sherry Field, associate dean. "When they link their name to a scholarship in perpetuity, it is incredibly humbling. Their scholarship makes it possible for students to attend college who possibly could not without their very generous support. The students are being transformed by what the Reddings have created. It is important to think about the number of lives that this scholarship will touch; the lives that the teachers will touch. It is incalculable in number."