Retired Texas A&M Regents Professors Paul and Linda Parrish have endowed a $25,000 study abroad scholarship for an English major in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. The Linda H. and Paul A. Parrish Endowed Scholarship for International Study, funded through the Texas A&M Foundation, will support a full-time English major participating in a study abroad experience.
“We both strongly support study abroad experiences for Texas A&M students, and we were at separate times associate deans in our respective colleges charged with that responsibility,” said Paul. “In addition, both of our sons had very meaningful study abroad experiences during their undergraduate and graduate years, and so establishing this scholarship was a way of bringing these interests and experiences together in a satisfying way.”
Paul and Linda Parrish had stellar careers at Texas A&M University as scholars, teachers, and service leaders in their respective disciplines – Paul in English and Linda in Special Education – while also supporting financially their passions for the arts and for programs promoting mutual respect at the university and in the community.
The two believed giving during their careers provided an avenue to “pay back” the university for the opportunities they had enjoyed professionally as well as provide a concrete way to endorse the areas they believed were crucial to Texas A&M’s development as a major institution. These areas include the arts; the Women’s Studies program; the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center; special education programs; and international study opportunities.
When Linda retired in 2006, the couple established the Linda H. Parrish Shaping the Future Award for Excellence in Special Education through the Texas A&M Foundation. Funds from this award support a Texas A&M student pursuing a degree in special education.
“The state of Texas and the nation consistently have a critical shortage of teachers for students with disabilities,” said Linda. “Texas A&M has a strong research-based program which requires substantial time commitments. We wanted to assist students who demonstrated a commitment to children with disabilities, and who also had a financial need, to complete this program successfully.”
Even in retirement the two maintain a busy schedule with community activities and through continued work in their respective academic disciplines. Linda is a member of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, and Paul is teaching in the Humanities in Medicine program in the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center. They have found more time for travel and spend as much time as possible with their children and grandchildren.