News and Information
Tarleton alumna receives first-ever Pell Grant Legacy Award
Tarleton State University-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2010
STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS-The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education selected Rochelle D. Gregory, Ph.D., North Central Texas College coordinator of freshman English and English instructor, as the first recipient of its newly created Pell Grant Legacy Award. The award, named after the late Sen. Claiborne Pell, recognizes Gregory as a past Pell Grant recipient who has made a notable contribution to public service through her work as a champion for students who have been marginalized and deemed "invisible" in society, such as students who have disabilities and come from low-income backgrounds.
Gregory was active in Tarleton State University's Upward Bound program while she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in English. She pursued a doctorate in rhetoric from Texas Woman's University and completed her dissertation on the representation of autism in the public discourse.
Gregory works with low-income college students-including those involved with the Tarleton's Upward Bound program-to help them achieve their academic goals, secure financial aid and understand the "ins and outs" of financing their education through the Pell Grant.
"We are pleased to extend the first Pell Grant Legacy Award to Dr. Gregory who has a powerful and compelling story about growing up extremely poor in a trailer park in Dublin, Texas, and who is very expressive about how if it were not for the Pell Grant program and support from her TRIO mentors, she would have fallen through the cracks," said Chandra Taylor Smith, Ph.D., director of The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.
"Dr. Gregory epitomizes the person who Sen. Pell had in mind when he first envisioned this program over 40 years ago providing federal aid to help students pursue higher education that would have otherwise been beyond their reach."
Gregory is a 1996 graduate of Dublin High School and the daughter of Bobby and Dian Gregory of Stephenville. She resides in Denton with her two sons, Alex and Tobey.
Sen. Pell served in the U.S. Senate from 1961 to 1997 and was the principal sponsor of the federal Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, which was renamed in 1980 to the "Federal Pell Grant Program" to provide need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to higher education. In 2007–08, the program served 5.5 million students and the total amount given in grants was $14.7 billion, or nearly one-third of all undergraduates enrolled. Sen. Pell passed away on Jan. 1, 2009.
The Pell Grant Legacy Award honors the one-year anniversary of his death. The Pell Grant Legacy Award was presented on March 19 during the Pell Grant Legacy Award Dinner held at the Pell Center for International Relations & Public Policy at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. Among the other highlights of the Pell Grant Legacy Award Dinner will be a presentation to the Pell family and closing remarks by Sen. Pell's grandson, Herbert Claiborne Pell, IV.
For more information about the Pell Grant Legacy Award, visit The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education's Web site at www.pellinstitute.org.
Tarleton State University
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