One of the core values of Texas A&M University is that of selfless service. John and Mary Jane Vandegrift have established an endowed scholarship to honor their son, 1st Lt. Matthew Vandegrift ’03, who exhibited the ultimate ask of selfless service while serving his country in the military. Just four days after turning 28 in 2008, he was killed while conducting combat operations in Basrah, Iraq.

1st Lt. Matthew Vandegrift '03
1st Lt. Matthew Vandegrift ’03

Matthew was a Marine who had been stationed in Iraq since 2007 and was part of a team responsible for training Iraqi security forces. His decorations include the Purple Heart, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Medal.

The 1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandegrift’ 03 Business Honors Scholarship will support a student from his hometown of Austin who is graduating from the high school named in his honor. Recipients of the scholarships will be graduating seniors from Vandegrift High School who are accepted to Mays Business School’s Business Honors Program.

Matthew’s father says he was a proud Aggie. He served in the Marines ROTC outfit H-1 Raiders at Texas A&M University and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in international business. “He had a great time and was proud to have gone there,” he recalls. “He was an excellent individual who I would have thought highly of even if he weren’t my son.”

“Matthew Vandegrift is an outstanding role model for our current students,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “Through this scholarship, Matthew’s service to our country and leadership will be a visible example to our students for many years to come. We feel fortunate that we can honor his life in this way.”

In September 2012, the Capital City A&M Club hosted the Matthew Vandegrift Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament to raise funds for the scholarship. The Center for Executive Development at Mays will match up to $50,000 in funds to endow this scholarship.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. Its mission is to create knowledge and develop ethical leaders for a global society.