Amanda Bebout scholarship exceeded endowment level quickly

While it would not be unusual to take more than two years for a scholarship to reach the endowed level, it took two months for the scholarship established in memory of a student who died in January to exceed the required amount.

The scholarship, created in Amanda Bebout’s name, had reached $56,098.50 by March 17, which exceeded the $50,000 necessary for a scholarship to become endowed.

David Nolan, associate vice chancellor for university development, said scholarships can take as long as five years to reach the endowed level, and it is unusual for a scholarship to reach this level so quickly.

He said before a scholarship reaches the endowed level, any funds collected are stored in a general account. After reaching the endowed level, he said, the funds are moved to a separate account where interest collected from investments would allow the university to award funds in perpetuity.

DeVonna Tinney, development director for Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, where Bebout studied, confirmed that the scholarship had reached the endowment level, but said the amount that will be awarded for each annual scholarship has not yet been determined.

Tinney said family, friends and faculty and staff members sent in a total of 57 donations, two of which exceeded $10,000 each.

Tinney said she would not release the names of the donors because it was a “private matter.”

Paulette Burns, dean of Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said she thinks nursing school faculty donated to the scholarship because they have close relationships with their students and because nurses are in a helping profession.

“I’m really excited and I’m very pleased that her family chose to honor her this way,” Burns said. “It’s a great way to honor a child and a friend and a family member. It’s a very positive step.”

Sharon Bebout, Amanda Bebout’s mother, said she is pleased that the scholarship reached the endowed level so quickly, and she said she thinks it got to that level because many people cared about her daughter.

“I think everyone that knew Amanda knew how passionate she was about nursing,” she said.

Sharon Bebout said she hopes the scholarship will be used to help another student who shared her daughter’s love of nursing.

“I know it will be,” Sharon Bebout said. “It will be used to benefit someone else that has the same dreams and passions that Amanda had.”