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Emily Burns: Texas Pride, Texas Care

Giving News

Scholarships help UT students change the world.

Students at The University of Texas at Austin have changed the world for more than 125 years. One factor that helps attract the best undergraduate and graduate students ­— regardless of financial circumstances — is endowed scholarships.

What sets endowed scholarships apart from other types of financial assistance? In a nutshell, gifts given as endowments are invested and never spent, so the dividends become scholarship awards year after year. Scholarships from these endowments allow students to concentrate on world-changing research and academics.

In fact, this year alone UT awarded 7,938 separate endowed scholarships and fellowships to students, 1,672 of which were held by graduating students who earned their degrees.

Here is the third in a five-part series profiling some of UT’s inspiring endowed scholarship recipients.

Emily Burns
BS Nursing ’05

Emily Burns

Emily Burns was so enthralled with the medical field growing up that her favorite TV show was Rescue 911. That fascination grew as she chose to attend UT for her undergraduate degree, too.

“I have Texas pride,” Burns says. “Plus, they have a great nursing school.”

She finished her first UT nursing degree in 2005 and became a full-time intensive care nurse at Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital. Her job helped her pay off her car and undergraduate loans and even buy a house two and a half years ago.

“Nursing is one of those things you are made for. It’s not just a job. It’s something you give to and it can give to you,” she says.

Burns returned to UT this year to pursue her master’s degree in nursing.

She still works part time at Brackenridge but says the scholarship money she receives from endowments means she can pay her mortgage and tuition without dipping into her personal savings or taking out more student loans.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have received this scholarship. It has allowed me to only work part time while placing the majority of my focus on full-time studies,” she says. Scholarship support also means she can finish her master’s in two years rather than three or four.

When she graduates Burns will be an adult clinical nurse specialist specializing in palliative and hospice care, a field she chose because of her experience in the intensive care unit.

Burns says, “Typically we think of hospice care as people with cancer or older individuals, and a lot of the things I was seeing at Brackenridge (were) more traumatic and a younger population. So it gave me a different perspective on end-of-life care.”

If you have a story about inspiring UT students, please share it with us by emailing

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