(April 8, 2010)--On any given first Wednesday morning of the month, if you start early and travel to Mendez Cafe on Bartholomew near Quintana Road, you will find a patriotic group of American workers, now retired, enjoying breakfast tacos and talking about old times.
On average there are 20 men who gather, all ex-Kelly Air Force Base employees who represent a combined 600 years of military aircraft maintenance experience.
And still, even though Kelly closed on July 13, 2001, these individuals continue to give back to the community they served because of an endowed scholarship fund at UTSA.
According to Larry Cheever, the former base chief financial officer and now designated spokesperson for the group, for the last 25 years of Kelly's existence, a group of managers and supervisors established and maintained a Kelly AFB chapter of the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Managers Association. The FMA is a non-union employee group that advocates to Congress on behalf of its members to improve government operations. The local chapters support member management training, leadership opportunities and community service.
"When the base closed, we had some funds left over, but rather than throw a big party, we took the approximate $35,000 and established the Federal Managers Association Kelly Air Force Base Endowed Scholarship Fund," said Cheever.
At UTSA, when an endowed scholarship is set up, the gift provides support in perpetuity. Just like dividends on a mutual fund account, each year a distribution is made to fund the student scholarship. Investment earnings above the dividend rate help the endowment value grow over time to keep pace with inflation and maintain spending power.
The Kelly Managers scholarship fund has awarded more than $18,000 in scholarships to UTSA students since it was established about 10 years ago, according to Benga Adeeko, UTSA director of endowment services and compliance. The investment value of the endowment as of February 2010 was $41,111.15.
When Cheever recently received a letter from UTSA President Ricardo Romo thanking the Kelly group for their continuing support of the university, his curiosity was piqued and he called UTSA to inquire about the fund.
"Once I heard how much good the scholarship fund has already done, I felt really proud of what we all did," said Cheever. "We still think a lot about Kelly and our motto 'God, family and country,' so it's nice to know that Kelly, though gone, is still making an impact for the good of San Antonio."
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
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