UT Dallas - The LINK
February 2013

Former President and Alumni Make Winning Team

UT Dallas alumni from the 1980s and ‘90s teamed up with their former University president recently to raise more than $177,000 for scholarships, research and more. In October, President Emeritus Robert Rutford told alumni he would match gifts they made to UT Dallas; since then more than 300 graduates have responded to his 90-day challenge. 

Dr. Rutford appealed to graduates from his tenure as president, from 1982 to 1994, encouraging them to make an investment in the value of their degrees.

“I hope alumni will continue their annual support of this very special University as it grows and becomes known nationally and internationally for its excellence in education and research,” he said.

Robert Rutford

Dr. Robert Rutford

Alumni responded with more than $100,000 for the effort. About $73,000 of the total amount raised was eligible for matching funds.

 “After finishing my undergraduate degree 20 years ago and my master's 14 years ago, I see the changes in the University and know that this contribution will help fund even more amazing changes,” said Lisabeth Lassiter BA’93, MS’99.

Both first-time and existing donors lent their support to various areas of need, including each of the University’s seven schools, research centers, the Eugene McDermott Library and scholarships.

“Alumni who give to UT Dallas help the University in a way they may not be aware of,” explained Erin Dougherty BA’03, MPA’07, senior director of alumni relations and annual giving. Alumni giving is a factor in the methodology used by U.S. News & World Report and many other rankings, she said. In some assessments, alumni participation rates are more important than fundraising totals.

“Every gift, no matter the size, is counted when measuring alumni participation in giving,” she said.

Challenge gifts are counted in the University’s “Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One and Beyond.” More than $155 million has been raised toward the $200 million campaign to support the University’s goal of becoming a Tier One research institution. The five-year initiative ends in 2014.


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