Civic Leader Took Early Interest in UT Dallas Campus
Karl Hoblitzelle's Foundation has Supported UT Dallas From the Beginning
Jan. 12, 2012
UT Dallas’ role as an emerging research university is built on the investments of visionary supporters who saw the University’s potential decades before many plans became reality.
Prominent Dallas civic leader Karl Hoblitzelle took an interest in the campus in its infancy. Decades later, his foundation continues to back the University’s academic and physical growth.
Forty years ago, the Hoblitzelle Foundation and the now-dissolved Texas Research Foundation (TRF), Hoblitzelle’s brainchild, donated almost 300 acres of land to UT Dallas. Now that land is home to the Alexander Clark Center, new residence halls and the Waterview Park and University Village Apartments. It also includes Hoblitzelle Hall, which was named in 1976 and houses the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
“Even though we were a brand-new University, and there was little else around us, we knew this land would be invaluable. Looking back four decades later, we can see how visionary it was for the Hoblitzelle Foundation to make this gift,” said UT Dallas’ first president, Bryce Jordan.
Though Karl Hoblitzelle died in 1967, the Hoblitzelle Foundation has consistently contributed to UT Dallas for nearly a half-century. In the 1960s, the foundation supported the institutions that would become UT Dallas, the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies and the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. When UT Dallas was authorized to admit freshmen in the early 1990s, the foundation was a major contributor to a scholarship drive to help recruit top students.
This is the original land gift of almost 300 acres provided through the Hoblitzelle Foundation.
That land is now home to the Alexander Clark Center, new residence halls and the Waterview
Park and University Village Apartments. It also houses Hoblitzelle Hall.
Most recently, the foundation has supported research projects for the Center for BrainHealth and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders. Many of these projects are collaborations between the UT Dallas centers and UT Southwestern Medical Center, which the Hoblitzelle Foundation also helped establish.
After a successful career building vaudeville theaters and movie houses in the South, Mr. Hoblitzelle and his wife, Esther, a Broadway actress, established the Hoblitzelle Foundation to provide grants for educational, medical and cultural organizations.
Paul Harris, president and CEO of the Hoblitzelle Foundation and a UT Dallas alumnus, said Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle would be proud of their legacy. “The early gifts from the foundation were certainly viewed as a long-term investment, but I think the direction in which UT Dallas is going today shows that Karl Hoblitzelle could envision what was possible.”
A foundation named for Karl St. John Hoblitzelle donated the land that makes up much of present-day UT Dallas.
Foundation Awards Challenge Grant
The Hoblitzelle Foundation recently awarded a $300,000 challenge grant to the Callier Center to assist with the expansion of its autism treatment and research facilities. The current facilities, now more than 40 years old, need significant renovation to serve the center’s growing population of children with autism spectrum disorders. The Callier Center must raise $150,000 by May 2012 to receive the first half of the challenge grant. For more information, please contact Shanon Patrick at [email protected] or 214-905-3084.