Women In Partnership For Progress Endowment $10,000 check presentation

From left: Kelsey Norgard, UHV director of alumni relations; UHV President Bob Glenn; Debra Williams, member and historian of Women in Partnership for Progress; and Courtney Middleton-Sides, UHV senior director for corporate and foundation relations, pose for a photo Wednesday. Women in Partnership for Progress, also known as WIPP, recently created an endowment fund at UHV.

University of Houston-Victoria students soon will have the opportunity to apply for a new scholarship to help pay for their education, because of a new endowment by the Women in Partnership for Progress, also known as WIPP, a Victoria group that has for years raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships, local nonprofits and those in need of assistance.

“Education is so important, and paying for it can be a struggle. We want to make sure that students can get the extra assistance they need in order to obtain a degree,” said Debra Williams, historian and member of WIPP. “We are happy to work with UHV to create this endowment so students can receive aid they need to finish their education.”

The Women in Partnership for Progress is a local charity group that began in 1967 to aid with social and education needs in the Crossroads area. The group has fundraised thousands of dollars since its inception to donate funds to high school students throughout the Crossroads.

Typically, the group hosts an annual Christmas brunch to raise scholarship funds, but because of the pandemic, the event has been postponed for the past few years. Even so, donations continued to come in, Williams said.

The group wanted a way to continue to grant scholarships to college students, even long after the group ceases to exist, if it should ever end. Williams, who has for several years served as a member of the UHV President’s Regional Advisory Board and is a UHV alumna, had heard about endowments and presented the idea of creating one at UHV to the group. The group decided an endowment was the best choice as it would allow students to receive scholarships and give others the opportunity to continue to donate to the endowment as well.

“The Women in Partnership for Progress has long been a great supporter of education in the Crossroads community, and we are grateful that they have chosen UHV to create this endowment,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “Their commitment to supporting students is a wonderful reminder of how much this community cares about education. We look forward to seeing how this gift will impact generations of students and their families.”

The funds from this endowment will be used to support scholarships for students at UHV in Victoria and UHV Katy and will be available in the future for students. Each scholarship award will be $750 per student, per year. Eligible students can be part-time or full-time undergraduate students; meet a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; and have graduated from a high school in Victoria, DeWitt, Lavaca, Jackson, Refugio, Goliad or Calhoun counties.

“UHV is thrilled with the generosity and support that the Women in Partnership for Progress is showing to our students,” said Kelsey Norgard, UHV director of alumni relations and annual giving. “The investment they are making in the lives of our students will be seen for generations to come and will continue to grow. We can’t thank Debra enough for her support and involvement with UHV and higher education in the area.”