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Lee Bagan Endowment

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The Lee Bagan Endowment was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on June 9, 2008, to benefit The University of Texas Office of Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement. The endowment honors Lee Bagan, who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in 2005 and an MA in 2007, both in Middle Eastern Studies. Gift funds were provided by various donors.

Lee Bagan speaking to a military unit.
Lee Bagan speaking to a military unit.

Throughout his time in Austin, Bagan was a firm advocate for disabled students, serving on the President’s Committee for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility and the Austin Mayor’s Committee for Disability Policy.

While a student at the university, Bagan spearheaded a fundraising effort to raise money for economically underprivileged disabled students. Bagan was working to ensure that students with cognitive disabilities got the help they needed to succeed in college. He launched a letter-writing campaign and spoke to student organizations. Before long, with the help of the Service for Students with Disabilities Department, $25,000 had been raised. At the insistence of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, the fully funded endowment was named for Lee Bagan.

Bagan knows firsthand how difficult school can be for someone facing a learning disability, as he has since adolescence. Income from the Lee Bagan Endowment helps financially underprivileged students pay for the psychological testing that will give them access to federal educational benefits. The Lee Bagan Endowment continues to grow due to annual contributions from individual donors. To date, more than $50,000 has been raised.

Lee Bagan
Lee Bagan

After graduation, Bagan served in western Iraq as the Middle East specialist for Navy SEAL Teams 1, 3, and 7 from 2009 to 2010. From 2012 to 2013, Bagan deployed to Afghanistan with Navy SEAL Teams 3 and 5 to conduct "Village Stability Operations" (VSO) in insurgent dominated regions in the Afghan south. A unique form of counterinsurgency mission, Village Stability Operations require small Special Forces teams to embed in insurgent controlled environments with the aim of persuading influential tribal elders to transition allegiance from the Taliban shadow government to support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIROA).

For his service overseas, Bagan has been awarded the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service by SEAL Team 3, the Commander's Medal for Civilian Service by Marine Corps Regimental Combat Team 8, the Superior Civilian Service Medal by SEAL Team 5, a second Superior Civilian Service Medal by 1/82 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, a Commander's Commendation by SEAL Team 3, as well as the Iraq Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Afghanistan Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Service Award. In 2012, the President of The University of Texas at Austin honored Bagan with the "Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award".

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