Paying It Forward for Another Deserving Student


Roy and Violet O'Valle

When Violet O'Valle, Ph.D., met her future husband in the University of Houston theatre department, he was the teaching assistant for her least favorite class; and, initially, she wasn't very fond of him. But after he went out of his way to help her with a project, she soon realized she'd misjudged him. "I thought, oh I was wrong about him. He's not arrogant; he's really a sweet guy," Violet recalls. "And he turned out to be just like that."

After their time at UH, the couple married and went on to share a rich, successful life in the theatre, eventually starting their own company, Pantagleize Theatre. Violet credits a large part of the success she and Roy had to UH and the support they received from the theatre department. She remembers how people in the department offered Roy scholarships and a job in the scenery shop while he went to school on the G.I. Bill and struggled financially. "He could not have made it had they not done these things for him," she says.

Roy passed away in 2005. To honor Roy's memory and show her gratitude for UH, Violet recently joined The 1927 Society and established a bequest to fund The Violet and Roy O'Valle Scholarship Endowment in the School of Theatre and Dance so "we can do the same thing for some other deserving student that UH did for us."