DR. LARRY SALL arrived at The University of Texas at Dallas in 1978, less than a decade after the University’s founding. Over the course of his 32-year career at UT Dallas, Larry and his wife, Judy, saw firsthand the difference the new University made in the lives of all those involved with the institution, from students and faculty to administrative employees.
In hopes of extending the benefits of a UT Dallas education to future generations, the couple recently documented a planned gift valued at one-third of their estate to create the Judy and Larry Sall Scholarship Fund. Their scholarship will support students graduating from the Dallas Independent School District, with a preference for first-generation college students and participants in the Academic Bridge Program, a University effort to prepare young students for college life and future careers through advising, mentoring and tutoring.
Sall recognized the incredible opportunities made available to him during his time at the University. While attending junior college in Portland, Oregon, Sall — already passionate about education — grew to admire a particular dean, but never envisioned that he could one day hold that title.
However, after serving as a coordinator of special collections and director of libraries at UT Dallas, Sall was named the University’s first dean of libraries in 2004.
“That was something I never expected in my life, something I never even considered to be a possibility,” he said. “That opportunity meant a lot because of all that I was able to do to help the University.”
Among the many unequaled experiences afforded to Sall during his tenure at the University were encounters with seminal figures in diverse academic fields. He curated collections from aviation pioneer and decorated World War II pilot Gen. Jimmy Doolittle and botanist and archaeologist C.L. Lundell, discoverer of the Mayan city of Calakmul, among many others.
“I got to know the most fascinating people you could imagine,” he said.
Having been associated with UT Dallas since its early days, the Salls found themselves invested in the core mission of the University. By helping make UT Dallas accessible to talented students, the couple hopes that the University will, in turn, open doors for students in the same way it helped expand Larry Sall’s own career.
“We both believe in education as a way of moving people forward,” Judy Sall said. “We’re hoping that our scholarship can make a real difference in someone’s life.”
The Judy and Larry Sall Scholarship will support students who may not have benefited from the most well-resourced secondary schools, but who, nevertheless, have the talent and motivation to succeed in rigorous academic programs like those at UT Dallas.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” Judy Sall said. “This is a way of paying it forward. Somewhere along the line, we will make a difference to some student. Hopefully, many.”
The couple knows that sometimes these students just need financial support to take a chance on their own futures.
“We just want to give them a shot,” Larry Sall said. “What they do with it is up to them. We hope these students will realize the potential they never knew they had and help make the world a better place.”