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Mayes makes historic gift to scholarship foundation

 - TBEF founder sees education as key to industry’s future

A lifelong learner who secured advanced degrees in his 70’s and 80s, Wendell Mayes Jr. has witnessed first-hand the soaring, punishing costs of higher education.

Despite establishing a scholarship foundation for future broadcasters 40 years ago, Mayes decided he could do still more to groom the industry’s future leaders and this spring presented the Texas Broadcast Education Foundation the largest personal gift in its history.

The $50,000 gift in Vanguard fund shares will be used to supplement an earlier endowment for the Wendell Mayes scholarship and free up money for several other scholarships.

It was Mayes who in 1973 convinced the TAB Board of Directors – on his third try – to allow for the creation of a separate scholarship foundation to benefit students studying broadcasting at Texas colleges and universities.

Texas broadcast legend Vann Kennedy championed Mayes’ efforts before the Board and Mayes has served as a foundation director ever since, helping grow the endowment and expand the scholarship offerings both in number and amount.

TBEF this year awarded nine scholarships totaling a record $29,000.  These include eight scholarships in the amount of $3,000 and the $5,000 Ann Arnold scholarship. 

View the 2017-18 Scholarship Winners

Mayes said that a recent TBEF Board discussion regarding the growing cost of tuition at a Texas college or university – now an average of $8,000 for one semester – was the catalyst for his gift.

The Board recognized that persistently low interest rates make it difficult to raise enough money to endow new scholarships.

Increasingly, funds raised in one year are used the following year to increase existing scholarships, rather than to fund endowments.

Mayes’ lifelong contributions to the Texas broadcast industry – including stints as TAB Chairman and TBEF President – will be recognized at TAB’s Annual Convention in August when he is presented TAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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