UTD gifts surpass $16 million

The Dallas Morning News
Sept. 1, 2009

The University of Texas at Dallas today will receive 16 philanthropic gifts, including an anonymous gift of $7.29 million, for a total of more than $16.8 million to support research, faculty chairs and graduate student fellowships.

The gifts and their timing were motivated in part by the availability of matching funds through the Texas Research Incentive Program, which the Legislature recently enacted.

The fully matched potential of the gifts is $31.6 million, said UTD president David E. Daniel.

"We are deeply grateful to our supporters, both our private donors and the elected officials who made this possible," he said.

"These investments provide a long-term benefit, not only to the university, but also to our community. They quicken the pace at which we can innovate and work to create the great academic research university Dallas urgently needs.

"All of the institutions eligible for these funds have received a great opportunity, combined with a great challenge from the state of Texas. It's extremely gratifying to receive this vote of confidence from community leaders, our alumni and our faculty. This is a very encouraging beginning to what will be a marathon effort."

The TRIP fund was created under the "Tier One" law, written by state Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas.

The measure created a $50 million matching fund available to seven "emerging research universities": UTD, the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of North Texas, University of Houston and Texas Tech.

The greater the gift, the higher the match. Donations of $2 million or more receive a dollar-for-dollar infusion from the state, gifts of $1 million to $1.9 million receive a 75 percent match, and gifts of $100,000 to $999,999 receive a 50 percent match.

Seven of the contributions to UTD were for $1 million or more – the most individual seven-figure gifts the university has received in one day – and the others were each $100,000 or more.

Named donors are:

  • Communities Foundation of Texas – two gifts of $2 million each, a gift of $116,500 and a gift of $100,000.
  • Texas Instruments, founded by the three men who created the university's antecedent, the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, in the 1960s – $1.15 million for research in semiconductor technology.
  • Louis and Julia Beecherl Jr., Nancy B. Hamon and the O'Donnell Foundation – $1 million each.
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation – $257,000.
  • Charles and Nancy Davidson of Houston – $250,000.
  • The Ackerman Foundation – $200,000.
  • Lockheed Martin – $120,000.
  • Dallas Foundation – $100,000.
  • Philip Jonsson Foundation – $100,000.
  • UTD behavioral and brain sciences Professor Aage Moller and his wife, Margareta – $100,000.