On Sunday, Sept. 11, the university honored the first cohort of the Darren Walker Scholars program at a campus event attended by President Hartzell, Darren Walker and many generous donors who helped establish the program in spring 2022.
“As a UT student, Darren had financial support from a Pell Grant and scholarships, and described his journey as a publicly and philanthropically funded ‘mobility escalator,” said UT Austin President Jay Hartzell in his opening remarks. “What a moment for Darren — and for all of us here tonight — to celebrate the fact that, through the Darren Walker Scholars program, he has built a mobility escalator for others.”
Housed within the DDCE, the Darren Walker Scholars program provides a fully funded undergraduate education at UT Austin for students of the highest caliber with substantial financial need and a history of overcoming economic, social or educational obstacles. The goal is to permit these extraordinary young women and men to unlock their potential and develop their talents for the betterment of all, following the example of the accomplished UT Austin alum Darren Walker.
Also in attendance were the 2022 Darren Walker Scholars recipients: Gabrielle Izu, Jorge Giron, Christopher Zapata, Amy DonJuan and Yanet Hernandez. Each of the recipients shared the difference their scholarship has already made in their lives — and what it will make possible in their future.
“Because of you, we will be global citizens, healing the wounds of the world and offering solutions to the problems that stump the current generation,” said Gabrielle Izu, an international relations and global studies freshman. “Because of your generosity, we will be able to excel and to take after the best traits of Darren Walker.”
Visit the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity website for more information about the Darren Walker Scholars Program.