United Supermarkets LLC has made a gift of $3 million to the Texas Tech Foundation Inc., to endow two scholarship programs at Texas Tech University and provide operational support for nursing programs at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
The donation was revealed at a news conference at the on-campus McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center in Lubbock, Texas, which is also United's hometown. The $3 million contribution is the second-largest financial gift in United’s history, second only to the $10 million pledged in 1996 toward the construction of Texas Tech’s United Spirit Arena.
The initial $2 million of the present donation will go toward creating the United Supermarkets Graduate Fellowship Endowment, which will provide graduate fellowships and enhance the research work of graduate students attending Texas Tech. Recipients must have attended high school within United’s trade area of 50 stores in 30 north and west Texas markets. Monies for the program are eligible for matching funds from the Texas Research Incentive Program.
Another $700,000 will create the United Supermarkets Scholarship Endowment, which will provide scholarships for undergraduate students who attended high school also within United’s trade area.
The remaining $300,000 is earmarked for operational support of the new Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in Abilene.
Additionally, pending approval by the Texas Tech University System’s Board of Regents later this week, the student dining facility currently under construction near 19th and Boston in Lubbock will be called The Commons by United Supermarkets. The two-story, 22,000-square-foot standalone dining facility will connect on the north side to a new 510-bed residence hall, which is expected to be completed this summer.
Also pending board approval, the United Supermarkets name will appear on the new School of Nursing building in downtown Abilene.
“United has always stood for enhancing the lives of the communities we serve,” noted Matt Bumstead, co-president of United and a fourth-generation member of the family who owns and operates the company. “We have a passion for young people and a nearly century-old commitment to supporting their education.”
United’s “continued support of Texas Tech ... will provide future generations of students with additional opportunities to excel,” added Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, which is also based in Lubbock.