Austin- Former Texas DE Cory Redding and his wife Priscilla announced their plan for an endowed scholarship at the University of Texas during a ceremony at the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center on Friday. The Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship shall benefit in perpetuity the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I chose the College of Education to create this endowment because I wanted to make this world a better place, one person, one kid at a time,” Redding said. “The kids are our future, and we need more teachers to motivate our people.”
On hand at the ceremony to announce the establishment of the endowment were Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown, UT President BillPowers and Dr. Sherry L. Field, associate dean of teacher education, student affairs and administration. The Reddings will be providing the initial giftfunds towards the establishment of a scholarship. The Cory Redding Foundation will support additional fundraising efforts.
“I’m always involved and hands on in anything that I do, because I’m that proud of it,” Redding said. “I’m looking forward to being very involved with the scholars who receive this endowment and paving the way by mentoring these kids.”
“To have the foresight to give back is a great gift,” said Brown. “Not a lot of athletes give back, because they felt they spent their time giving back while they were on campus. This should be a message to athletes across the country. When you have people like the people in the College of Education that have done so much for you and helped you get where you are, not only can you mentor those students, but you can say, ‘Thank you.’ ‘Thank you’ is hard to do for young men sometimes. Cory is special.”
The Redding family wanted to establish this endowment to help provide educational opportunities to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. Growing up with humble beginnings, Redding haslived his life based upon three basic values: desire, discipline and dedication. He believes that these values lay the foundation for future success, and it is his desire that recipients of this endowment possess the same spirit.
“I’ve had so many distractions, and I could have chosen to do all the bad things in life,” reflected Redding. “I had folks knowing that line and bringing me back to safety. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for key people in my life mentoring me and keeping me grounded.”
“It is always an honor to have our students come back and be supportive alumni,” Dr. Field said in thanking Redding. “When they link their name to a scholarship in perpetuity, it is incredibly humbling. Your scholarship is going to make it possible for students to attend college whopossibly could not without your help and very generous support. There is nodoubt that the students will be transformed by what you are doing and by what your family has created. What we believe in equally, if not more, is that it is important to think about the number of lives that each one of your scholarships will touch; the lives that the teachers will touch. It is incalculable in number.”
A two-time All-American and first-team All-Big 12 defensive end at Texas, Redding played in 52 career games for the Longhorns, starting 38. Tabbed a Lombardi and Hendricks Award finalist and a first-team All-American as a senior, Redding capped that year by claiming Defensive MVP honors in Texas’ 35-20 Cotton Bowl victory over LSU. The 1999 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year finished his career ranked second on UT’s career TFL’s list (57) and 10th on the Longhorns all-time sacks chart (22). Prior to coming to Texas, Redding was named the 1998 USA Today National Prep Defensive Player of the Year and a Parade All-American as a senior at Galena Park’s North Shore High School. Redding was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round in 2003. A nine-year veteran in the NFL with the Lions, Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens, Redding signed with the Indianapolis Colts on March 14.
In the off-season, Redding is actively pursuing the completion of his degree in Youth & Community Studies within the College of Education. Redding’s wife, Priscilla, is a University of Texas graduate, earning her bachelor of science from the College of Education in the field of Applied Learning and Development in 2003.
“In the days when my wife and I are no longer here, my grandchildren’s grandchildren will hopefully be part of this process continuing this endowment,” Redding said. “One hundred years from now, they’re going to look and see the Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship, and to me, that is better than any accolade I could ever achieve on the football field.”