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Pecten Scholarships Benefit International Studies Students

2014 Pecten Scholarship recipients and supportersFour recipients of the Pecten Chemical Scholarship in International Studies enjoyed lunch with the scholarship’s founders, Marilyn and Don Ullrich, on May 1.  Created in 1989 with a $500 gift, the Pecten Scholarship has grown to be the largest endowed scholarship for students in the Center for International Studies. 

The Ullriches have made annual visits to Houston to sponsor a golf tournament to build the endowment and meet the recipients. The 2014 tournament, played on May 6 at the Kingwood Country Club, raised more than $13,000 in new contributions for the Pecten Scholarship.

This year’s recipients were international studies and/or international development majors Jaqueline Deleon, Esther James, Rebecca Skaff and Nhat-Quang Vo.  Joining the Ullriches and students were Savara McDaniel, client relations manager for Core Plus Financial Strategies, LLC, Debbye Crofoot-Morley, senior director of development for UST, and Hans Stockton, director of the Center for International Studies at UST.

“Our students were gracious and engaging during the luncheon,” Stockton said. “Mr. and Mrs. Ullrich have engaged the Center for more than a quarter century because of their love of students and international education. We are all deeply grateful for their support.”

Rebecca Skaff, international studies and international development major, said she is grateful for the Ullriches’ support, knowledge and kindness.

“Their support, both financially and personally, impacted us in a way that makes us both proud of our ambitions and more determined to go out there and change the world,” Skaff said.

Esther James, an international development major, said it was special that the Ullriches drove from Florida to meet them.

“I just couldn’t believe they made such a sacrifice to meet the people behind the scholarship essays,” James said. “They really warmed my heart.”

The scholarship was established by officers of the Pecten Company and the Center for International Studies under the directorship of Professor William J. Cunningham, to assist students pursuing degrees in international studies and international development. At the time, Don Ullrich was the president of the Pecten Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Company that managed the international marketing of chemicals produced by Shell Chemical Co.

The Pecten management team intended this scholarship to support the diverse and integrated understanding of international politics, economics and geography undertaken by international studies students.  The Pecten leadership team has secured Core Plus Financial Strategies LLC to produce the annual golf tournament and further promote awareness of the scholarship.  The Center for International Studies is eager to engage this new partner.

Past recipients of the Pecten Chemical Scholarship are employed in energy and energy-related businesses, finance, compliance and diplomatic sectors worldwide. 

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