Alumni and Former President Team Up to Support University Goal

Challenge Raises More Than $177,000 for the UT Dallas ‘Realize the Vision’ Campaign

Feb. 27, 2013

UT Dallas President Emeritus Robert Rutford served as the University's leader from 1982 to 1994.

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. Since October, when President Emeritus Robert Rutford told alumni that he would match gifts they made to UT Dallas, more than 300 graduates have responded to his 90-day challenge.  

Dr. Rutford appealed to graduates from his tenure as president, 1982 to 1994, encouraging alumni 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.

Alumni responded with more than $100,000 for the effort. About $73,000 of the total 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 seven schools, research centers, the Eugene McDermott Library and for 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 fund raising totals. “Every gift, no matter the size, is counted when measuring alumni participation in giving,” Dougherty said.

Realize the Vision logo


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.

Media Contact: Sara Mancuso, UT Dallas, (972) 883-6507, [email protected],
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
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April 19, 2018