United Supermarkets Gives $3M to Endow Scholarships

United Supermarkets announced a $3 million donation to the Texas Tech University System creating two new student scholarship programs at Texas Tech University and supporting a growing nursing program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

The gift is the second-largest financial gift in the history of the Texas-based, family-owned chain of grocery stores. In 1996, United Supermarkets gave $10 million to Texas Tech University to support the construction of the United Spirit Arena, a 15,000 seat entertainment and athletic venue that hosts commencement ceremonies, concerts and Texas Tech University basketball and volleyball games.

“We are grateful for everything this institution means to this area,” said Matt Bumstead, co-president of United Supermarkets and a fourth-generation member of the ownership family. “This is a great opportunity for us to stand with Texas Tech and to stand up for what we think matters.”

In recognition of today’s gift, system officials have considered naming the new dining facility, which is currently being built at 19th Street and Boston Avenue. The proposed name of the 22,000 square-foot facility is The Commons by United Supermarkets and will be considered by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents at tomorrow’s meeting.

“We want to say, on behalf of the Texas Tech family, a special thanks to United,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “United Supermarkets is a great corporate citizen, and they’re doing more than their share to help us in all that we do in educating people at Texas Tech.”

The bulk of today’s gift will establish the United Supermarkets Graduate Fellowship Endowment, which will provide research support for graduate students at Texas Tech University. A total of $2 million will be used to endow the fellowships. These monies are eligible for an additional $2 million of matching funds from the Texas Research Incentive Program, created by the state of Texas. Once matching funds are received, the endowment will support up to 36 graduate students with awards of $5,000 per year.

In addition, $700,000 will be used to create the United Supermarkets Scholarship Endowment, which will provide up to 6 annual scholarships of $5,000 each for undergraduate students.

Both the graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships will be awarded to students who attended high schools within the United Supermarkets trade area.

The final $300,000 portion of the gift will provide operating funds for the new Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing building in Abilene, Texas. System officials broke ground on the $9 million facility last month, and, according to a news release, administrators estimate that the new building will allow the school to grow from its current enrollment of 77 students to as many as 200 by the year 2015.

“United has always stood for enhancing the lives of the communities we serve,” said Bumstead in a news release. “We have a passion for young people and a nearly century-old commitment to supporting their education. Today we are thrilled to join with [Texas Tech] in helping make a top-notch college education possible for young people across our area.”

With stores in 30 markets across north and west Texas, United Supermarkets is in its 95th year of operating 51 stores under four formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos United and United Express.

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