Arlington Citizen-Journal

Notable & quotable: Arlington Museum of Art announces $550,000 gift

Arlington Museum of Art Executive Director is celebrating a donation of $550,000 from local philanthropist Sam Mahrouq and his wife, Rania.
Arlington Museum of Art Executive Director is celebrating a donation of $550,000 from local philanthropist Sam Mahrouq and his wife, Rania.

They had reasons to be thankful last week at the Arlington Musuem of Art: the single largest donation the museum had ever received.

At the opening of its “Modern Masters” exhibit, museum officials announced a $550,000 gift to retire the mortgage on the building. The donation came courtesy of local philanthropist Sam Mahrouq and his wife, Rania, Executive Director Chris Hightower said in a news release.

The recent success of the museum, the expanded programming and the collaborative effort with other Arlington arts organizations caught Mahrouq’s attention.

We are proud to invest in the future of the museum because of their extraordinary work in Arlington through summer art camps for at-risk children for 25 years, collaborating with the other arts organizations and bringing world-class art to Arlington including Ansel Adams, Toulouse-Lautrec, Frank Lloyd Wright and Rembrandt.

Sam Mahrouq

The couple also pledged to match up to $20,000 in contributions for facility renovations and enhancements. Scheduled work includes new flooring, updated lighting, enhanced gallery space and smart classrooms for children.

“This extraordinary foundational gift paves the way for the Arlington Museum of Art to continue on its upward trajectory by enhancing our facilities and programs. We are humbled and thankful for the support and trust the Mahrouqs have placed in us,” said Hightower.

Mahrouq is an Arlington businessman and owner of Auto Max.

Still time to be a Goodfellow

With the 2015 holiday season underway, the Star-Telegram is in full swing in its annual campaign to raise money from the community to provide practical gifts for needy Tarrant County children.

Please send your donation to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or you may go online to to make a secure credit card donation and for more information.

We’ll acknowledge your gift in the newspaper unless you ask us not to print your name.

City lists proposed projects for next six months

Several city projects on the horizon could make life better for those who live and work in Arlington.

Projects included in the city’s six-month report include millions of dollars in improvements and repairs to streets and drainage systems, as well as upgrades to parks and recreation areas.

Some of the projects on tap through May:

▪ $7,700,000 in various residential street rebuilding projects

▪ $1,900,000 for phase 1 of New York Avenue (Abram Street to Park Row Drive)

▪ $4,600,000 for phase 2 of New York Avenue (Park Row to Arkansas Lane)

▪ $2,400,000 for Julia Burgen Park

▪ $300,000 for River Legacy Parks trail

▪ $50,000 for Marrow Bone Spring Park

▪ $250,000 for Veterans Park

Arlington school district teacher career fair

Want to teach in the Arlington school district? A teacher career fair is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Professional Development Center, 1111 W. Arbrook Blvd.

Participants must be either fully certified by the state and not under contract; probationary/alternative-certified applicants with a statement of eligibility; or student teachers receiving their standard certificate by January.

Participants must apply online at before attending the fair.

UTA college pathways program earns statewide honor

The board that oversees Texas colleges and universities has recognized UT Arlington’s efforts to help meet the state’s Closing the Gaps by 2015 goals. UTA’s Pathways to College Access and Career Readiness Program is one of seven finalists from 48 nominations for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Star Awards.

University of Texas at Arlington students and staff operate “GO Centers” in high schools throughout nine regional school districts to provide assistance and encouragement to prospective college students.

The award recognizes efforts to increase student participation and success in higher education, excellence in programs and services, and research development and expansion.

The Coordinating Board named Lone Star College-University Park the 2015 Star Award winner on Friday, Nov. 20, for the institution’s Education and Career Positioning System, a suite of applications that help provide students, faculty, advisers and parents with the ability to simulate, validate and plan students’ education-to-career options and suggests the best individual journey to achieve students’ goals.

Dr. Amaro-Jiménez has channeled her passion for making sure that first-generation high schools students and others who may never have considered a college education know that an undergraduate degree is within reach and can place them on a path to future success.

UTA College of Education Dean Jeanne Gerlach

Carla Amaro-Jiménez, assistant professor of bilingual/ESL education in the UTA College of Education, directs the Pathways to College Access and Career Readiness Program.

“It is a tremendous honor to see the work our team is doing at UTA to engage students while they are still in high school and guide them to success throughout their college years recognized by the state’s top higher education leadership,” Amaro-Jiménez said. “The real reward, however, is seeing those students thrive at UTA, pursue their academic passions and find meaningful careers that enrich their lives.”

The Pathways program began in 2007 with a group of pre-service teachers in the UTA bilingual education program who volunteered their time to work with students in the Arlington school district. In 2009, the program secured funding from the coordinating board to expand GO Center storefronts for early college information and advice in high schools. UTA students representing a variety of undergraduate majors serve as GO Center staff, often mentoring prospective college students from their own high schools.

GO Centers are supported by more than $2.4 million in external grants and assist high school students and their families with college admissions and financial aid application information and academic tutoring in key subject areas. UTA GO Centers served 10,620 students and parents during the 2014-15 academic year.