Rick Harsch

Rick Harsch believes that it is important to give. Whether it’s a little or a lot—just give. Giving, at any level, can have a collective impact on the UT System.







A No-Restrictions Approach to Philanthropy

Much has changed at The University of Texas at Austin since Rick Harsch received his diploma some 30 years ago (BBA, ’81). Change is much swifter and more constant now, and institutions of higher education must keep pace and thrive in such conditions. The UT System “does a great job of meeting the needs of this diverse, changing world,” says Rick.

Making unrestricted donations to the UT System is one way Rick believes he can contribute to its readiness. Rick has been a consecutive donor to the UT System since 2008. Through his consistent gifts, Rick believes that he helps provide the support the Chancellor needs to make the most of myriad opportunities.

Rick’s contributions go well beyond financial contributions, however. A proud graduate of UT Austin (BBA, ’81), Rick has remained dedicated to his alma mater, staying active in many volunteer organizations, which then led to leadership positions on various UT-related boards, including serving as president for the Texas Exes Houston Chapter and as an at-large representative for the Texas Exes. He served as president of the Houston Longhorn Club and he was a member of the Longhorn Advisory Council. Rick was also a member of the development board for The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and currently serves on the McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board.

“My involvement has been lengthy and diverse,” Rick says. Starting out as a grassroots volunteer and then progressing naturally through the various levels of involvement and leadership has given Rick a deep understanding of how all the pieces fit together to form the big picture that is the UT System. As a result, he has become an ambassador for the UT System. “People reach out to me. When I get approached, I hope to expand their knowledge about the UT schools.” He wants them to know about “the many ways the schools are unique and how they touch and impact lives.”

The deep appreciation Rick has for the UT System and the 15 UT institutions is reaffirmed every time he goes on the road for his employer, the Houston-based National Realty Consultants. Rick has worked in no less than 45 states and has identified a reality they all share: a strong educational system, K-16 and beyond, is essential for each state’s success and growth. The pressure on the UT System to continue to build and maintain such a system in Texas “will continue to be great.”

A daunting challenge, perhaps, but Rick believes that the UT System is up to the task and he will continue to do what he can to help—it’s just that important. “I want our schools to continue to be best in class,” Rick says. “I want our public-private partnerships to grow so that UT institutions continue to evolve.” That kind of growth, he states, “is critical to the future of Texas, the nation, and the world.”