Story by Kacie Frederick. Photos provided by UNT Dallas.
The University of North Texas at Dallas is proud to announce a new endowed scholarship in the name of its president, Bob Mong. Thanks to a generous donation from The Dallas Morning News, where Mong held various roles, including editor-in-chief, the Robert Mong Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to deserving students beginning in the 2023-24 academic year.
“I was very moved and really grateful,” Mong shares on hearing The Dallas Morning News named the scholarship in his honor. After over 40 successful years in journalism, Mong joined the UNT Dallas faculty in 2015.
Mong was raised in a small town near the Indiana border in Ohio. When Mong was in college, he took a break from his studies to help support his family financially. He had never written for a newspaper before, but fell into the opportunity to make some fast cash. Mong had always been naturally interested in writing but never imagined it would lead to his illustrious career.
After successfully climbing the ranks of the newspaper, Mong was recruited to The Dallas Morning News. There, Mong served as president and editor-in-chief. For over 17 years, Mong ran the Dallas Charities Morning News, directing millions of dollars to the hungry and homeless, transportation and transition housing projects. This position helped Mong get in touch with several Texas foundations and nonprofits.
Because of Mong’s connections throughout the metroplex, he was recruited to serve as the President of UNT Dallas, a position he still holds. From his extensive experience of reporting the inner workings of city government, Mong leverages his knowledge of the growing gap between north and south Dallas.
As a result, Mong has taken it upon himself to recruit talent for UNT Dallas’s staff to help start bridging this gap. Due to his efforts, UNT Dallas now has a more diverse cabinet than any other college in the area, and has recruited several scholars of color to represent UNT Dallas’ diverse student body.
“You can never forget where you came from,” says Mong, who received the Scott Paper Company scholarship during his own university days. “Because of that scholarship, I was able to go to school where I wanted to go. I appreciated the scholarship much more ten years later than I did as a student. But once I reflected on the opportunity I was granted, I realized just how important it was to me.”
As a scholarship recipient himself, Mong recognizes how crucial they are for providing access to education. Ninety-five percent of UNT Dallas’s students come from the Dallas area, and nearly all come from household incomes that are less than $45,000 a year. On top of that, many are first-generation students. To Mong, this scholarship named in his honor will pay his success forward, enabling deserving students to have the same opportunity he was given during his university days.
UNT Dallas is proud to foster upward economic mobility. The university has been named in the top 15 colleges to take first-generation students from low-income households into much higher-paying jobs.
Mong’s advice for young minds everywhere would be to go get that degree.
“Do whatever it takes. Because if you look at lifetime earnings and expectancy trajectories, people who are able to receive a bachelor’s degree drastically improve their life. Nothing else can achieve that kind of success. That’s why I’m honored that my scholarship will help students stay in school,” says Mong.
The deadline to apply for the Robert Mong Endowed Scholarship is April 30, 2023. Along with the application, students are asked to submit a personal statement, including their background, interests, obstacles they have overcome, what led them to UNT Dallas, why education is important, and an explanation of their financial need.
To apply for 2023-24, students must meet the eligibility requirements, including:
For more information regarding the parameters of the scholarship application, please visit https://www.untdallas.edu/alumni/files/robert-mong-endowed-sch-app-2023-24.pdf. For more information regarding UNT Dallas, you can visit their website at https://www.untdallas.edu.