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Donor Stories

Giving News

Our donors love The University of Texas at Austin, and they’ve chosen to give to the University in many ways. Their stories are enlightening, inspiring, and surprising.

Pharm Futures

Mike Lester, BS ’79, parlayed a pharmacy degree into a string of multimillion-dollar companies. Now he’s helping UT pharmacy students see there’s more than one prescription for success. By Avrel Seale The sun was setting that summer evening in 1975 as the Missouri-Pacific train slowly crossed Town Lake heading back to San Antonio from its daily […]

Startup: ‘Charge It’ to Make a Difference

Larry Garten always impressed upon his son, Stephen, the importance of doing the right thing and giving back to his community. When Larry died of cancer at age 53, Stephen, then a college sophomore, vowed to honor him by upholding that ethic. Stephen Garten grew up in Baltimore and went to school at Washington University […]

Former UT staffer founds Charity Charge to leverage rewards points for good

Larry Garten spent much of his time with his son, Stephen, impressing upon him the importance of giving back to his community. When Larry died, Stephen vowed to honor him by upholding that ethic. Stephen Garten, 30, grew up in Baltimore, went to school at Washington University in St. Louis, then landed in Austin as […]

What Can Happen When People Believe in You

Born to a family of modest means in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, Dick Evans, BBA ’68, was 14 when his father died. “I had to grow up fast,” he says. “I took a job as a janitor for the office building next to the local bank.” That’s where he met two individuals who would […]

Raising Our Horns

What do you get when you combine two of UT’s historic strengths — sports and leadership? The Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation. “Sport has the power to change the world,” Nelson Mandela said. “It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks […]

Liz and Les: From UT Sweethearts to D.C. Power Couple

Journalists Liz and Les Carpenter made their names in Washington. Now their legacy lives on with a scholarship in their honor. By Jamey Smith Texas and UT are known for producing larger-than-life personalities, but few have been as brashly entertaining as the late reporter and political aide Liz Carpenter, BJ ’42. “With my journalism degree […]

The Chinese Cowboy

UT gave this alumnus a nickname, launched a career, and sparked a lifetime of giving back. By Angela Curtis Texas has always been a good fit for Shanghai-born Julian Suez, BS ’61. His older cousin, working toward a 1958 degree in mechanical engineering, suggested that Suez become a Longhorn, too. “To me that was an […]

Serving Those Who Have Served

Veterans are a vital component of any community, and the university is no exception. At UT, Student Veteran Services in the Office of the Dean of Students helps students successfully navigate the transition from military life to college to career. Experienced at working toward a shared purpose in a team environment, veterans bring unique strengths and proficiencies […]

A Hand Up

He had earned a Combat Infantry Badge, two Purple Hearts, and a Bronze Star. But could he still earn his degree? By Avrel Seale A manual typewriter could be a formidable device to operate, even with fully functioning hands. But in 1945, business senior Don Houseman had an extra degree of difficulty: In order to […]

One Gift Can Strengthen the Entire University

Since 1972, the President’s Associates program has provided flexible funds to support UT presidents’ top priorities across campus. While alumni and friends often support specific areas of campus according to their interests, many also join President’s Associates to help advance the overall mission of the university. Several levels of membership are available based on age […]

Field Tested

By Andrea Campetella For friends and former UT colleagues Bonnie Bain, BA ’65, MS ’67, and Jean Avera, there is no better teacher than experience. That’s why they’re passionate about field education at the School of Social Work and why they teamed up to create the Jane Addams Field Education Development Endowment. While working in […]

The Quiet Friend

Something of an enigma during his life, T.W. “Tom” Whaley, PhD ’68, revealed his true nature with what he left behind. The Waco resident who died last year left more than $35 million for scholarships with the goal of bringing the state’s highest achievers to UT. His legacy will be the generations of Texas students who follow in his footsteps to become engineers.

Sentimental Journey

Gifts to Ransom Center honor loved ones, ‘visionary’ former president and chancellor By Angela Curtis Time and again, Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth has given to The University of Texas at Austin, his alma mater and former employer. But don’t call him a philanthropist. The retired Romance languages professor prefers a different label. “I’m a sentimentalist,” he said. […]

Trying to Make a Better World

With their $60 million commitment, Jim and Miriam Mulva make a strong case for why you should give to UT, too. By Jamey Smith “Bill, what can we do to help?” That simple question, posed to President Bill Powers by Distinguished Alumnus Jim Mulva, started a string of conversations that eventually led to the Mulva […]

The UT Gene

Lufkin father passes down burnt-orange legacy to brood. By Angela Curtis Hilary Haglund Walker didn’t fall far from the tree. Like her father, Wayne Haglund, she earned an undergraduate degree from UT. Like her dad, she went on to law school. He was president of the local Rotary Club; now she is. She even joined […]

Dell Medical School’s first scholarship donor takes aim at doctor shortage

In October the Dallas day trader, Matt Bell, became the first person to create a scholarship at UT’s new Dell Medical School. He hopes the Matthew G. Bell Memorial Endowed Student Tuition Fellowship will make careers in medicine more enticing to would-be doctors deterred by the high cost of a medical education.

Home Court Advantage

For Texas Women’s Basketball super-fans Julia Hickman and Cecil Reynolds, the players and coaches they cheer for and the fellow fans they sit with at the Erwin Center each winter are more than a community. The couple calls them “our basketball family.”

LBJ ’82: A Class Act

The Class of ’82 mobilized and challenged one another to raise $150,000 to award a one-year tuition fellowship and internship stipend each year to a deserving LBJ School student.

Sam Woollard: the Power of Participation

As someone who works with charitable giving every day, Sam Woollard of Austin knows the power of small gifts. “One of the things I know from having worked with nonprofits is that small gifts oftentimes can be more flexible” because they’re less likely to have strings attached, she said. That makes it possible to address […]

The Power of Participation

“I feel like that’s just doing your part as an alumnus,” said Ryan Oliver of Atlanta, a brand strategist for Twitter who earned his MBA at UT in 2006. “You don’t have to get your name on a building, but giving something back is really important.”

Credit Where It’s Due

Two of the University’s most prolific and generous donors receive long-overdue public recognition for their UT philanthropy A certain very generous husband and wife have long been among the University’s top donors. And for about as long, they have declined the spotlight. But this spring, after years of encouragement from University leaders, Peter and Edith […]

Give Now and Give Later

“I’ve always felt like UT treated me so well here, and the quality of education was outstanding,” Dan says. “All my friends went to school here, so it’s always been kind of a family experience for me. Part of the endowment process and the estate planning was just to continue that family relationship.”

Having It All

As loyal Longhorns, the Goldmans knew they wanted to give back to the university that changed their lives. They also want to show their children the importance of giving back to an institution that helped put them on the right track. The challenge was finding a way to do so while still providing for their three young children.

An Investment in the Workforce of the Future

It’s a classic success story, and it never gets old. An innovator nurtures a great idea from humble beginnings into a multinational company with a positive impact across the world. The company is National Instruments, and the innovator is company co-founder Jim Truchard. Truchard leveraged his innate talents, along with the considerable grounding in physics […]

The Power of Education

“We can give people greater opportunities by giving to UT than we could anywhere else.” – Julius Glickman

Turning $1 Million into $3 Million at McCombs

El Paso native Woody Hunt has issued a challenge of his own to his fellow McCombs School of Business alumni and friends.

Hunt would like his gift to fund scholarships to students from El Paso and the surrounding area. “My hope here is to try to improve the competitiveness of our region,” he says. “The expectations would be that some of those students will come back and contribute to the community.”

Something Ventured, a Whole Lot Gained

Entrepreneurs, take note. Texas Venture Labs at the McCombs School of Business is now Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs, in recognition of a gift of more than $6 million from Fort Worth businessman and entrepreneur Jon Brumley. “This investment is a game changer that enables us to expand the scale and accessibility of the Texas […]

John Goodenough: Supercharged

Pioneering portable power was just the beginning for this professor and donor Take a quick look around. You’re probably within arm’s length of a John Goodenough invention. Goodenough, a mechanical engineering professor in UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering, helped launch the wireless revolution with his development of the cathodes of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which […]

One Family’s Musical Legacy Helps UT Elementary

Keith Maxie and his wife, Alice, created the Ira and Muriel Maxie Endowment to honor Keith’s parents and the impact music had on their family — something that started on his parents’ first date. Since childhood Ira had an eye for Muriel, but it wasn’t until that first date that he realized her singing voice […]

Guillermo Nicolas honors pioneers of Spanish-language TV in the U.S.

Broadcasting is in Guillermo Nicolas’ blood. So is innovation. His family, after all, is the one to thank for the United States’ first Spanish-language TV station and network. And Nicolas himself is something of a pioneer, helping launch Home Shopping Español. So it just made sense for the 1987 UT graduate and San Antonio resident […]

‘The More You Give, the More You Get Back’: One Couple’s Story

By Angela Curtis Mary Virginia Jacobs could tell Trina Sommerlatte was special from the moment the young nurse walked into her husband’s hospital room. She just had no idea how special. It was Thanksgiving weekend 2009. From the moment the two women met they shared an important interest: the health of Claud Jacobs, who was […]

Wayne Wagner’s graduation gift to his sister

It was December 2002, and Wayne Wagner was attending the UT School of Nursing commencement as the proud big brother of graduate Nicole Murry. Something touched him that night, and a scholarship was born.

Class act: Shelley Trathen

Shelley Trathen believes money shouldn’t stand in the way of an education. Now this former teacher is bringing higher education to the next generation.

Marching to a better drummer

Before Vince DiNino, there was no Show Band of the Southwest. That changed in 1955 when DiNino became the first full-time director of the Longhorn Band. After 20 years as Longhorn Band director DiNino put down his baton, but his influence continues today.

All roads lead to Texas

Chemist David Medley finds formula for success at UT.

Leveling the field (In memoriam: 1965–2013)

Attorney hopes scholarship will help make Law School more diverse.

A life-changing investment in graduate studies

Austin’s Linda and Nick Classen help a school principal pursue a doctorate and achieve her full potential.

Making an endowment-level gift — on the installment plan

Dan and Shannon MacLemore find a way to make a difference.

The art of philanthropy

Julius and Suzan Glickman’s masterpiece is their family.

Architecture alumnus honors mentors

Fred W. Clarke’s gift will increase the number of Architecture’s Endowed Presidential Scholars.

Honoring his parents

A son turns his grief into a legacy.

Playing through the pain: Couple helps UT, children in need

Norma Leben is a pioneer in directive play therapy for abused, neglected children.

Standing ovation for Sarah & Ernest Butler

$55 million gift is largest to any public university music school.

Ben Barnes gives LBJ School $1 million

Former Lt. Governor extends his legacy at the institution he helped launch.

William W. Cooper

From prizefighter to prize-winning financial innovator, this professor emeritus has led a storied life.

Honoring a departed friend

One ’70s-era Longhorn remembers another with an endowed gift.

The eyes of Texas

Margaret Berry wrote the book on UT history — several of them, in fact.

Former student president continues to lead

With a forward-looking gift, Annie Holand Miller becomes a student benefactor.

A match made on Sixth Street

Martin and Rosana Lizárraga found love for each other — and philanthropy.

Celebrating a philanthropic legacy

Descendants of UT benefactor George W. Littlefield carry on the family tradition.

Art Work

Monday, June 19, 2017

Real (Estate) World Experience

Monday, June 19, 2017

Building the Future of Nursing

Monday, April 17, 2017

Taking Action

Monday, April 17, 2017

Practical Activism

Monday, April 17, 2017

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