Hallettsville-based foundation makes $25,000 donation to UHV for scholarships

A Hallettsville foundation recently dug into its pockets so that area students can have scholarship opportunities to attend the University of Houston-Victoria.

The Dickson-Allen Foundation, established in 1961, made a $25,000 donation to assist students from Lavaca, Wharton and Gonzales counties. The private foundation makes donations for a wide range of interests, including educational programs, and medical research and facilities. The donation will assist eligible students from the three counties where the foundation is most active. Students from those counties represented nearly 5 percent of UHV’s total fall 2010 enrollment.

“We are pleased to help rural students from our area take advantage of the educational opportunities at UHV,” foundation trustee J.L. Allen said. “The university is a regional asset that helps raise the education level throughout the Coastal Bend and returns a more educated worker to our communities.”

Raymond Dickson was born in 1886 in Wharton County, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Bass Dickson. Raymond’s aunt, Julie Dickson Green, and her husband, William, raised Raymond in the Shiner/Gonzales area after he became an orphan at age 8. He graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1909 and practiced law in Houston until World War I when he became a major in the 5th Infantry Division. After his return from the war, he was in the cotton, oil and cattle businesses.

He died April 4, 1956, leaving the bulk of his estate to be operated as a private foundation by several of his good friends, including attorneys Alton and William Allen of Hallettsville, for charitable and educational purposes. When Alton died in 1976, he left a significant portion of his estate to the foundation because he saw the great philanthropic good the foundation was doing. When William died in 1989, he left most of his estate to his nephew, Wilbur Baber, with the understanding that Baber would pass a good portion of his estate to the foundation, as well.

Upon Baber’s death in 2005, the foundation trustees voted to change the name of the foundation to the Dickson-Allen Foundation, in order to recognize the significant contributions of the late Allen brothers and Baber.

“We are extremely grateful the Dickson-Allen Foundation has made this generous donation to invest in the future of our students by awarding scholarships,” said Mark Zafereo, UHV senior director of University Advancement. “This will be a major boost for students from their area who are working to achieve their educational goals.”

The foundation’s gift criteria dictates that 50 percent of the scholarships must be awarded to students from Lavaca County, with the remaining 50 percent split between students from Wharton and Gonzales counties. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate a need, and remaining awards will be based on merit.

“There is no better way to promote family, community and economic stability than to provide financial resources to students in need who want to attend college but require some assistance,” UHV Interim President Don Smith said.

Other Dickson-Allen foundation trustees are Dunham Jewett, Curtis Vaughan III and Curtis Gunn Jr.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342