Donors Thanked for Record $64 Million Fundraising Year
Oct. 23, 2013
More than 200 guests attended the Celebration of Support held Oct. 10 to thank University donors.
The University set a fundraising record in fiscal year 2013, with gifts and pledges from faculty, staff, alumni, corporations and campus supporters reaching $64 million, a milestone celebrated recently at a campus event including supporters, students and friends.
The University has seen steady growth in support since 2009, the first year of Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One & Beyond. The $200 million, five-year campaign ends in December 2014. Donors have raised more than $185 million thus far to increase student assistance, further research and grow the endowment.
Dr. Aaron Conley, vice president for development and alumni relations, welcomed the University community and the UT Dallas Development Board, and then announced the record after a drumroll from the Texas Instruments Jazz Band and a countdown from the crowd.
Cheers and applause erupted as a commemorative banner unfurled from the trellis and orange and green fireworks – appropriately described by Conley as “comets”– shot into the moonlit sky over the reflecting pool on the University mall.
Previous records were set in 2011 at $55.2 million and in 2010 with $40.6 million.
President David E. Daniel thanked supporters for both their time and their financial investment in bettering the University. He shared the story of a student who is conducting “world-class research” and is on her way to becoming a medical doctor, despite financial limitations. Thanks to a full scholarship provided by a donor, he said, she has the opportunity to pursue her dreams.
Daniel pointed out a group of students who unfurled the ceremonial banner announcing the new record. Among them were Student Ambassadors, undergraduate scholarship holders and graduate fellows whose University experience is made possible by the success of the Realize the Vision Campaign. Within those young people, he said, is “where human creative genius resides.”
“The gifts you make enable this University to create the next generation of true leaders – of thought leaders, of innovators, of creative disruptors – who are going to invent the next things that will help us understand how to cure cancer, how to safeguard information, how to make everything work better for everyone,” Daniel said.
“Sharing some of the fruits of my labor to ensure UT Dallas provides this same experience for others is extremely close to my heart.”
This campaign has introduced the concept of the Opportunity Fund endowment. Nearly 60 of these unrestricted funds have been established to benefit all seven of the University’s schools and many research centers and student programs.
Center for BrainHealth benefactors have been particularly active in establishing funds. The Buck Horn Opportunity Fund was created in honor of the late Buck Horn, business leader, husband, father and patriot, to help people maximize their brain performance. The Daryl Johnston Opportunity Fund and Lee Roy Jordan Opportunity Fund were established in honor of the leadership of these Dallas Cowboys legends in supporting efforts to maximize brain performance in athletes and veterans.
Alumni support has significantly increased: Last year, more than 1,800 alumni gave, almost double the number who gave in 2009. By backing various centers and units, alumni are filling needs across the University while also helping support the University’s standing in reputational rankings that take alumni participation into account.
Thirty new donors have made commitments of $13.2 million in bequests, charitable gift annuities and life insurance.
Former Comet baseball pitcher Randy Black BS’06 recently named the University as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
“The platform UT Dallas has provided me to develop professionally and personally is something for which I will always be grateful,” he said. “Sharing some of the fruits of my labor to ensure UT Dallas provides this same experience for others is extremely close to my heart.”
UT Dallas professor of 34 years Dr. Anthony Champagne said he and his wife decided to establish a charitable gift annuity to help provide for the University’s pre-law program, for which he is the advisor.
“It's exciting to see a new university grow from 6,000 students to today’s enrollment of more than 21,000,” Champagne said. But with more students, he said additional funds are needed to support programs.
During the four years of the campaign, donors have made more than 21,000 gifts. By comparison, the four years prior to the campaign’s beginning yielded 13,000 gifts.
“UT Dallas has never seen this level of philanthropic support,” Conley said. “This tells us that people believe in our Tier One vision and are showing it by giving to the programs and causes that are important to them.”
For more information, visit utdallas.edu/campaign.