Victoria physician starts UHV endowments for veterans, first-generation students

Dr. Sanjeev Bhatia, founder and medical director of Crossroads Health Center, throws out the first pitch to University of Houston-Victoria first baseman Joshua Boothe before the Jaguars' home opener Jan. 25. Bhatia recently established two UHV endowed scholarships in his parents' names.

To honor his parents and support local education, Dr. Sanjeev Bhatia recently established two $10,000 University of Houston-Victoria endowed scholarships.

Bhatia, the founder and medical director of Crossroads Health Center in Victoria, said education is the best way to make a difference in someone's life. He has seen plenty of examples of how higher education has provided a lift to family, friends and students in the community.

As his first gifts to UHV, Bhatia created endowed scholarships in his parents' names. The endowments are the Om Prakash Bhatia Scholarship for First Generation Students and the Urmil Bhatia Scholarship for Veterans. The scholarships will be given to a student who is the first in his or her family to attend college and to an honorably discharged military student.

"My parents encouraged us to try to pursue our goals and do something that is helpful for everyone," Bhatia said.

Bhatia chose to name the veteran's scholarship after his mother because she is service-oriented and eager to help others. Bhatia's father was the first person to go to college in his family.

Bhatia will donate the $20,000 for the endowments during the next five years. Because he did not want to wait to assist students until the endowments were fully funded, Bhatia will donate $800 annually for scholarships in the interim. The first two $400 scholarships will be awarded in the fall.

For information about applying for one of the UHV scholarships, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 361-570-4125 or visit uhv.edu/ofa.