Let’s Make History Together
Alumni and friends, engaged as never before, have sent the Campaign for Texas into record territory. But UT needs one more record-breaking year.
The Campaign for Texas, the university’s ambitious $3 billion fundraising drive, comes down to a simple idea: making Texas and the world a better place. As UT keeps on doing what it does best — innovating in science and technology, leading in health improvement, and making an impact on the state’s cultural landscape — the campaign enhances those efforts by supporting first-rate faculty, talented students, modern facilities, and research and academic programs across all disciplines.
Donors contributed more than 187,000 gifts and pledges worth more than $453 million in fiscal year 2012-13, which ended Aug. 31, making it the best fundraising year in the university’s history and crushing the previous record of $366 million by 23 percent. Those numbers bode well for the remainder of the campaign, which already has raised $2.26 billion since it began in 2006, more than any previous capital campaign in Texas.
Such support helps the university compete for the best people, modernize its beautiful but aging campus, encourage innovation, and strengthen its economic and social impact.
“I’m so grateful to our alumni and friends for the strategic investments they are making,” says president Bill Powers.
When 33,000 of UT’s 52,000 students need help paying their educational expenses, scholarship gifts of any size make a significant impact. Supporting faculty and programs that advance knowledge in an area of interest is another popular way to give. But wherever they’re directed, all contributions are meaningful to those who make them.
Sam Woollard, BSW ’88, of Austin, gives a modest amount each year to her alma mater, the School of Social Work, confident that it will be put to good use. “Many small gifts build up to be a large gift,” she says. “One of the things I know from having worked with nonprofits is that small gifts oftentimes can be more flexible because there are not a lot of expectations. I give because I believe in the mission of the school.”
People like seeing their support add up over time. “It’s like donating to your 401(k),” says Kyle McAdams, BAr ’86, of Great Falls, Va.
In addition to facility and technological upgrades that are transforming the student experience, there are other significant signs that the campaign is helping fuel UT’s ascent to the top tier of global public higher education. In the Center for World University Rankings’ 2013 report, released in July, UT ranks 26th among the world’s top 100 universities. The rankings are based on criteria including publications by faculty, influence, citations of faculty research, patents, faculty quality, and employment of graduates. UT is in seventh place among public U.S. universities in the rankings.
“This illustrates how important attracting and retaining top faculty is beyond the primary benefit of having great teachers and researchers,” Powers says. “Faculty quality drives rankings, rankings build reputation, and a rising reputation attracts students, professors, and staff of an ever higher quality.”