The predecessor of the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, the Eugene McDermott Academic Scholars Program, came to life in 1995 through a bequest from the Eugene McDermott Foundation established to create a scholarship program for the class winners of undergraduate students at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). On May 1, 2001, Mrs. Margaret McDermott established three endowments from gifts totaling $32 million to UT Dallas that were donated during the year of 2000 : the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program Endowment, the Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies Endowment, and the Carl J. Thomsen Fund for Student Enrichment Endowment, thus honoring her late husband Eugene McDermott, co-founder of Texas Instruments and UT Dallas.
The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program has a rigorous selection process in place that chooses students having demonstrated extraordinary intellectual achievements, having established outstanding proof of leadership skills, high ethics, and a promise to fully participate in the program pledging to be local and international leaders of the 21st century. The mean SAT score of a McDermott scholar ranks above 1450 and the mean class rank is above the 98th percentile. Possible candidates are nominated from secondary schools by a nominating committee. Each year about twenty to thirty students are selected by the program which provides for a full, cost free and highly personalized instruction within the UT Dallas' educational program.
In addition to that, an unprecedented four-year program of various extra-curricular activities - created to familiarize, equip, and prepare the scholars to be leaders in all important parts of humanity - give the scholars an everlasting understanding of society as a whole. The group experience includes an orientation and leadership training at the St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, multiple encounters of the world class artistic and cultural life of Dallas, Texas, such as the Dallas Symphony orchestra, the Dallas Opera, local museums, art galleries, theater, and concerts. Finally, the scholars will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet politicians and cultural leaders of the capital. Within the individualized experience, scholars can personalize their own program in support of their professional goals and cultural interest. Available are freshman volunteer services, government/civic experience, international travel, enterprise semester, and independent study and field work.
From the description of The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, 2000-2009 2005-2007. (University of Texas at Dallas). WorldCat record id: 757539210