Member Spotlight

"My father thought college made for better citizens, better taxpayers - better communities. He was always a big believer in higher education for the improvement of our society."
Caroline and Nelson Puett

Read about other UT System supporters here. 

The Ashbel Smith Circle is a recognition society named after the first president of the UT System Board of Regents. Members of the Ashbel Smith Circle have established endowments to support UT System initiatives.

The Ashbel Smith Circle recognizes six levels of giving.
  • Visionaries: Donors who endow $500,000 or more.
  • Luminaries: Donors whose endowments are between $200,000 and $499,999.
  • Founders: Donors whose endowments are between
    $150,000 and $199,999.
  • Laureates: Donors who establish endowments of $100,000 to $149,999.
  • Fellows: Donors who establish endowments of $50,000 to $99,999.
  • Associates: Donors whose endowments are between $10,000 and $49,999.

The principal of an endowment is never spent; it is held and invested and its earnings provide continual support to the UT System. You may establish an endowment with a pledge to give at least $10,000, and you have five years to fulfill your commitment. After the endowment is fully funded, you may contribute to the principal if you wish, but you are not obligated to make future gifts.

Who was Ashbel Smith?

ABS imageAshbel Smith, M.D., was the first president of The University of Texas System Board of Regents. He had a long and distinguished career in medicine, education and public service.

During his term on the Board of Regents, Smith was dedicated to recruiting the best faculty members available and to developing a curriculum befitting a "university of the first class." Smith became known as both the "father of Texas medicine" and the "father of The University of Texas."