The University of Texas at Dallas





Edging Closer to National Research University Status

Campaign Provides Support for Students and Faculty

During the Realize the Vision campaign at The University of Texas at Dallas, alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, faculty and staff gave $273.3 million to support academic and research programs, scholarships, faculty chairs, and campus enhancements. UT Dallas’ first comprehensive fundraising campaign concluded in December 2014, having established more than 237 endowed funds to bolster the work of students and faculty, bringing the University closer to becoming a national research university.

“We are deeply grateful for the support we experienced during the campaign, and thank the more than 13,000 donors,” said President ad interim Dr. Hobson Wildenthal. “These new resources will be crucially important as we continue building a university nationally recognized for the excellence of its faculty and students.”

During the campaign, donors fueled student success by giving $35.5 million for scholarships and fellowships. Cody Willming,BA’14, said the Fred Hill Endowed Scholarship in Public Service helped him take an unpaid internship on Capitol Hill, which led him to his current job with the U.S. House Budget Committee, the same committee for which he interned.

“The Fred Hill Scholarship made it possible for me to afford working and living full-time in Washington in an unpaid capacity. Without that opportunity, I would not have been able to build the experience and network I needed to move to D.C. and start my career,” he said.

Solomon Luo, MS’78, is an ophthalmologist with a large private practice in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Wendy, established the Dr. John Jagger Scholarship to honor the late professor he credits for motivating him to attend medical school. “Dr. Jagger was an influential mentor during my time at UT Dallas. He went out of his way to assist me with my acceptance into medical school,” Luo said. “If not for Dr. Jagger, I may not have gone down that path.”

Campaign supporters contributed to every school, center and program at the University, including $69.7 million for academics; $55.1 for other programs, facilities, campus enhancement and opportunity funds
and $45.8 for research.

Fifty-seven endowed chairs, professorships and faculty fellowships were added during the campaign. The impact of these gifts can be seen in units like the Center for Vital Longevity, an internationally recognized enterprise led by Drs. Denise Park and Michael Rugg. They were recruited to UT Dallas from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the University of California at Irvine, respectively, and hold endowed chairs created from funds generated by the campaign.

Gifts to the campaign were also used to create new centers. For example, $13 million in gifts from Texas Instruments, an anonymous donor, and funds from the University of Texas System Research Incentive Program (UTRIP), were combined to create the Texas Biomedical Device Center, which develops new biomedical technology, devices and therapies.

Robert Rennaker, Ph.D., director of the center and the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering, said that the generous gifts from donors are life-altering. With investments from Texas Instruments and UT Dallas supporters, pioneering initiatives can move forward. “I think they will change the world,” Dr. Rennaker said. “And we’ll see the results in our lifetimes.”

If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 972-883-2295.