$200 million is UTD's funding goal

April 2, 2012
ROBERT MILLER
bmiller@dallasnews.com

It's no secret that it will take money — lots of it — to bring the 40-year-old University of Texas at Dallas up to Tier One status as "one of the world's great research universities," said UTD president David E. Daniel.

"Research universities have been essential to our country's advancement, and they will define who is successful in the world going forward," Daniel said. "These are the places where innovation occurs, where new businesses are created, where the very best and brightest people aggregate."

Last week, the university began the public phase of its $200 million, five-year fundraising campaign, a key part of its quest to become a nationally competitive research institution.

The quiet phase of the campaign, which began in 2009, raised more than $110 million, said Aaron Conley, vice president for development and alumni relations.

At last Thursday's event announcing the end of the quiet phase, Conley reported that UTD has gotten more than 25 gifts of $1 million or more. New gifts include:

  • $50,000 from Mrs. Rita Crocker Clements to establish two honorary scholarships.
  • A $150,000 commitment from PlainsCapital Corp. to support research programs at the Center for BrainHealth.
  • $600,000 for the Callier Center for Communication Disorder — $300,000 from the Hillcrest Foundation to match a $300,000 challenge grant from the Hoblitzelle Foundation. The funds will help construct an autism research center at Callier.
  • A gift of $7 million from an anonymous donor to campus enhancement by landscape architect Peter Walker, building on his earlier work there.
    Walker landscaped the garden of Dallas' Nasher Sculpture Center and designed the landscaping for the Ground Zero memorial in New York.
  • $13 million to create the Texas Biomedical Device Center. Texas Instruments Inc. provided $3 million, an anonymous donor added $5 million and those gifts triggered $5 million in matching funds from the UT System board of regents.

A UT Dallas Campaign Council was formed to head the fundraising effort, including honorary co-chairs Jess Hay, Philip Jonsson, Margaret McDermott and Peter O'Donnell; council co-chairs Debbie Francis, James Huffines, Ron Nash and Rich Templeton; and council members Bill Booziotis, Lance Charriere, Terry Conner, Chuck Davidson, Nancy Davidson, Franklyn Jenifer, Bryce Jordan, Melendy Lovett, Steve Lyle, Sara Martineau, Phil Ritter, Jeff Robinson, Robert Rutford and Jim Von Ehr.

"We're very grateful to our supporters who have gotten us to this point, and we look forward to working hard to successfully conclude this effort," Daniel said. "This is another step toward becoming a university of the first order in service to our community and our region."

To learn more, visit ut dallas.edu/campaign.