UT Dallas - The LINK
September 2013

Opportunity Funds Prove to be Popular Among Alumni Donors


Clint Miller BS’00, MS‘02 and Lacey Miller BA’08

More than 50 alumni, friends and UT Dallas faculty have stepped forward for the Realize the Vision campaign to create Opportunity Funds. These unrestricted endowments can be established to support a school, department, research center or any other area.

Alumni Clint Miller BS’00, MS’02 and Lacey Miller BA’08 recently established an Opportunity Fund to give back to the University that helped set their lives in motion. The Millers, who live in Austin, said that their experiences at UT Dallas have brought great value to their careers, and they want other Naveen Jindal School of Management students to share similar experiences.

“Our fund demonstrates our gratitude for our own experiences at UT Dallas and our promise to support future students,” said Clint Miller.

The University is in the most critical stage of the $200 million Realize the Vision campaign, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. Since the campaign’s quiet start in 2009 and the public announcement more than a year ago, supporters have broken many giving records. Alumni donors have more than doubled.

Dr. Anvar Zakhidov and his wife, Nadira, celebrated both his 60th birthday and his career at UT Dallas by establishing an Opportunity Fund to benefit the physics department and the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute. The Zakhidovs also said they were inspired by colleague Dr. Dean Sherry, who, along with his wife, Dr. Cindy Sherry BS’78, rang in his 40th year as a UT Dallas faculty member by establishing an Opportunity Fund for the chemistry department in 2012.

Zakhidov is known for his landmark advancements in nanotechnology, photonics and the physics of solar energy devices. He joined UT Dallas in 2001 to co-found, with Dr. Ray Baughman, the MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, where Zakhidov is the associate director.

“As a young scientist, I received a lot of support from the university where I studied, from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and from various foundations worldwide, including some in Japan and Italy,” said Zakhidov. “Now I want to give back to students and researchers so that they will have the opportunity to participate in international workshops and conferences like I did, and to expand their research to new areas.”

Nadira Zakhidov is a longtime UT Dallas staff member who has served as a Web specialist at the Eugene McDermott Library for more than 10 years. She recently received her second master’s degree, in library science.

Learn more about Opportunity Funds at utdallas.edu/opportunity.

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