What Happened at UTD in the 2010s
What a decade it’s been. To list all of the achievements and accolades would keep you here for hours, so we chose a few of the highlights:
Phase one of the multiyear, privately funded Campus Enhancement Project to transform the campus mall from a concrete canyon to a lush green space was unveiled (the final results are shown above), as were the Science Learning Center, the renovated Founders Building and the Student Services Building. Just look at how small the now-mighty magnolia trees were back then…
(Shameless plug: This also is the year in which UT Dallas Magazine debuted.)
Naveen Jindal MBA’92 presented UT Dallas with its single-largest alumni gift to date, part of a joint $30 million gift presented with fellow alumni Charles MS’80 and Nancy Davidson BS’80 to the School of Management, which was renamed the Naveen Jindal School of Management. (Pictured above from left: Jindal; Hasan Pirkul, dean of the Jindal School; and Charles and Nancy Davidson.)
Also in 2011, the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Enrollment reached 19,727, and the freshman class brought the highest average SAT scores and the largest number of National Merit Scholars (63) up to that point in UTD’s history, more than all of the other universities in The University of Texas System combined.
Longtime UT Dallas supporters Edith and Peter O’Donnell helped dedicate of the new Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building.
The campus community celebrated the finale of UTD’s first comprehensive campaign, which surpassed its goal and raised more than $263 million to help students, boost research and strengthen the endowment.
Also in 2014:
- The UTDesign studio opened. The program teams engineering and design students with corporate sponsors who are seeking solutions to their research problems.
- McDermott Scholar Bhaskaran Nair BS’13 became the first UTD student to receive the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
- Students returned for fall classes to find five new structures open: Residence Hall West, Recreation Center West, Dining Hall West, a new parking structure and a 110,000-square-foot addition to the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
Aziz Sancar PhD’77 became the first graduate of UT Dallas to win a Nobel Prize. Sancar was one of three scientists who received the 2015 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work detailing how cells continuously monitor and repair damaged DNA on a molecular level.
UT Dallas attained the highest classification of research activity by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
Historically denoted as an “R1 University,” the classification acknowledges UT Dallas as a doctoral-granting university with the very high research activity.
Also in 2016:
- Dr. Richard C. Benson was inaugurated as the fifth president of UT Dallas.
- The Bioengineering and Sciences Building opened. The 220,000-square-foot structure is UTD’s largest academic building. It houses programs in bioengineering and neuroscience, as well as research space for related programs in biology and chemistry.
- The Callier Center for Communication Disorders opened a $22 million facility on the Richardson campus.
- The two-phase Campus Enhancement Project was completed, representing a $45 million investment since 2008 by longtime supporter Margaret McDermott and other private donors.
Times Higher Education ranked UT Dallas No. 1 in the United States among universities founded less than 50 years ago.
Also in 2017:
- Landscape architect Peter Walker received the inaugural Richard Brettell Award in the Arts, a biennial honor recognizing established artists in any medium.
- The Student Services Building Addition, the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center and the Center for BrainHealth’s Brain Performance Institute opened.
UT Dallas achieved the critical benchmark criteria required to qualify for funding from the National Research University Fund. UTD was the youngest institution and third overall in Texas to reach this milestone.
Also in 2018:
- Herb Weitzman and his wife, Donna, gave $3 million to establish the Herbert D. Weitzman Institute for Real Estate in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
- The Margaret McDermott Trellis Plaza and Margaret McDermott Mall are named in honor of the longtime supporter of UT Dallas and wife of University co-founder Eugene McDermott.
Our golden anniversary kicked off in June when we celebrated the 1969 signing of the legislation that created The University of Texas at Dallas.
Here’s to the next 50 years!