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Students present TSU president with $5,000 check

Continuing a longstanding tradition, Varnett’s fifth graders with the help of staff donated $5,000 to the College of Education at Texas Southern University.

The donation symbolizes the students’ commitment to the community and their future as possible TSU enrollees.

Dr. John Rudley accepted the check during a March 5 ceremony at the Southwest Pre-K cafeteria and the event continues a tradition of student donations to historically black colleges and universities that started in the 1990s. Dr. Rudley was greeted by Dr. M. Annette Cluff, the district superintendent, and the campus directors, in addition to the 129 students in attendance.

“I can assure you that a young man or a young woman will be able to get a  degree because of the contribution you made today,” said Dr. Rudley, as he encouraged students to consider TSU when the time comes.

Students Alexia Gabriel of Northeast was the mistress of ceremonies, DaJanelle Hughes of East gave the welcoming and Tylan Zachery of Southwest presented the check to Dr. Rudley.

Dr. Rudley emphasized the importance of homework and announced that TSU is building a dormitory that will be able to accommodate hundreds of more students. He also said that tuition is affordable and scholarships are available to those students who achieve. But the competition will be tough for any institution these students may want to attend, he said.

“Don’t take any shortcuts,” he said. “Education is fun. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. It’s an honor.”

After the president’s speech, students had a chance to ask him questions about the university, admission policies and other matters.

TSU, located in the heart of Houston, has nearly 10,000 students and is one of the nation’s largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

According to the TSU website, the mission of the College of Education is "to provide competent career professionals for effective service in urban schools, utilizing research, collaboration, and application in seeking solutions to teaching, learning, social, physical and behavioral issues facing urban populations." 

In November 2011, fifth-grade students donated $3,500 to TSU and Dr. Rudley gave them a tour of the campus. Students raise money through various school-sponsored functions as part of their community service projects.  

After the ceremony, Wendy Adair, vice president of university advancement, handed  out lanyards sporting TSU tags.

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