Rudy Lea
Rudy Lea III
Susie and John L. Adams Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2026
Garland, Texas
High School
Dallas Christian School

The best way to know who I am is to know where I come from, my family. Both of my grandfathers lived the “American Dream.” My paternal grandfather, born and raised in rural North Carolina, started as a paperboy and went on to become both the first in his family to attend college as well as the founder of his own multimillion-dollar business. My maternal grandfather, an accountant who was born and raised alongside five siblings in rural Sri Lanka, was also the first in his family to attend university and worked hard to move himself and his family to the United States in order to provide the best possible opportunities for his children. My parents met each other at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and they went on to earn their undergraduate and medical degrees together. My family has a history of grit and tenacity, two qualities that I work to uphold every day.

I was raised in a religiously and racially diverse household. One morning on the way to school I would be singing ABBA and Bollywood music with my mom, and the next morning I’d be listening to Michael Jackson, R&B, and '90s hip-hop with my dad. On Saturday you might have found me at the temple, and on Sunday I would be sitting in the pews at church. My childhood was filled with various viewpoints of the world, and I was a student of the cultures, the people, and the politics that I experienced. My parents made an effort to educate me on everything they possibly could about life around the globe. From trips to Asia, Australia, and Europe, I’ve been able to learn about the beauty, differences, and struggles that people experience.

From all of my experiences, with my family and the world, I’ve cultivated a passion for discovery, improvement, and prosperity through the means of business and politics. In high school, I worked to put together multiple fundraisers and a house system as student body president. I also took part in many business-oriented and leadership summer programs such as Notre Dame Leadership Seminars, Texas Boys State, and McCombs Future Executive Academy. I mention these things because I consider all of these activities to be part of the “discovery” aspect that I mentioned earlier. In order to bring change, you must first discover, the process of awareness, learning, and understanding. Currently, I am primarily in the “discovery” chapter of my life. Through my education and experiences, I make sure to learn from everything, big or small.

A large part of the reason that I fell in love with The University of Texas at Austin is that it provides countless opportunities for discovery. UT offers outstanding business education, a thriving business atmosphere through the city of Austin, and the politics of the state capitol just a few miles down the street. Through UT, the Canfield Business Honors Program, and the Forty Acres Scholars Program, boundless opportunities and experiences lie ahead, and it is an honor to be a part of these fantastic communities.

Business Honors

Honors Program
Canfield Business Honors Program

Other Academic Interests
Public Policy and Pre-Law

Extracurricular Activities

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
The Forty Acres Scholars Program put simply, is the very best of every world. I knew when applying to college I had multiple factors to consider. Among them were things such as the size of the student body, networking opportunities, academic quality, location, and cost. UT, on its own, offers outstanding academics, an excellent location, and a good amount of networking opportunities, but the Forty Acres Scholars Program improves upon everything that UT has to offer and brings its own share of opportunities and experiences with it. Let’s be real here: Entering a freshman class of about 8,000 students can be daunting. Through FASP, you enter college with your own group of like-minded, driven, ambitious, and diverse students. The cohort opens up an opportunity for a small college feeling within a large student body. As a student who is interested in business and law, I knew that networking would be an important factor in my college decision. The Forty Acres Scholars Program allows students to have a unique networking experience because the scholarship is sponsored by UT’s alumni association, Texas Exes. Additionally, with the Forty Acres Scholarship offering a fully sponsored undergraduate education, I am able to save money to put towards law school one day. Most importantly, FASP allows passionate students to be surrounded by equally ambitious minds. During Finalist Weekend, I was able to meet many current and future scholars that had amazing dreams, outstanding backgrounds, and inspiring viewpoints. The Forty Acres Scholars Program is more than a traditional scholarship, it is the opportunity to grow to your fullest potential in an environment that wants nothing but the best for you and with the tools that can help you explore any interest you may have.