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UT Arlington academy gets boost from BNSF railway gift

10/07/2011 11:12 PM

10/08/2011 12:58 AM

ARLINGTON -- BSNF Railway is giving the University of Texas at Arlington a $300,000 gift aimed at expanding a business leadership academy to freshmen and sophomores selected for the program.

The commitment from Fort Worth-based BSNF allows UTA to expand the Goolsby Leadership Academy, a program that lets selected juniors and seniors enhance their business education through specialized courses and leadership activities.

"It is really a great gift and we are really excited about," said Daniel Himarios, dean of UTA's College of Business.

The BSNF gift is being doubled through UTA's Maverick Match program, which uses natural gas royalties to boost new endowed gifts. The College of Business has committed another $300,000 in revenue generated by the university's Executive MBA program in China. The combination resulted in the current gift growing $900,000. It will help pay for scholarships.

Himarios said the endowment will allow them to recruit and attract freshmen and sophomores who can be groomed as scholars through the leadership academy.

The academy, established in 2003, has included about 60 juniors and seniors a year.

The program was started through an anonymous $2 million gift made in honor of John Goolsby, retired president and CEO of the Howard Hughes Corp., and his wife, Judy. BSNF established a $500,000 endowed scholarship for the program in 2007.

"BSNF Railway employs a number of Goolsby Leadership Academy alumni, graduates who continually demonstrate refined leadership skills and admirable character," said John Ambler, BNSF vice president of corporate relations.

Janelle Broyles, a Goolsby scholar and senior finance major, said the program allows students to get the inside track into the business world and network with top executives. Broyles said she gets a $2,000 scholarship annually to participate.

"It's an elite group of students who are chosen," she said.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675

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