Support for UT Dallas Campaign Reaches $159.5 Million

Unprecedented Number of Donors Helping Push University Toward $200 Million Goal

Mar. 26, 2013

UT Dallas' Donor Base is Growing

Donor Giving Chart for 2012

It’s been one year since UT Dallas launched the public phase of its first comprehensive campaign, and donors have so far shown their support by giving $159.5 million to advance research, bolster student assistance and increase the endowment.

With less than two years remaining, the University has entered the most critical stage of the $200 million Realize the Vision campaign, which ends on Dec. 31, 2014.

Since the campaign’s quiet start in 2009 and the public announcement one year ago, the number of donors has grown to unprecedented levels. Alumni donors have more than doubled. First-time givers have increased by almost 50 percent. A record number of community leaders, corporations, foundations and individuals have made gifts to advance award-winning academic programs, scientific breakthroughs and student achievement.

“The outpouring of support has exceeded all of our expectations,” said President David E. Daniel. “The effort is unprecedented since UT Dallas has never attempted a university-wide campaign. These donors truly believe we can realize this Tier One vision and become a great national research university.”

President Emeritus Robert Rutford

President Emeritus Robert Rutford challenged alumni from his tenure to contribute to the University, and he matched funds to raise more than $177,000.

Hundreds of graduates recently teamed up with President Emeritus Robert Rutford to raise more than $177,000 for scholarships, research and other areas of need.

“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 my contribution will help fund even more amazing changes,” said Lisabeth Lassiter BA’93, MS’99, who contributed to the Rutford effort.

Alumni donors such as Lisabeth help in a way they may not realize, according to 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 others for ranking colleges. “Every gift, no matter the size, is counted when measuring alumni participation in giving.”

Alumni join a  group of community leaders, corporations, foundations and individuals whose gifts are keeping the campaign and UT Dallas moving forward.

Dr. Cindy Sherry and Dr. Dean Sherry

Dr. Cindy Sherry and Dr. Dean Sherry established an Opportunity Fund for the Chemistry Department.

The Miles Foundation of Fort Worth contributed $100,000 to UTeach Dallas, a program to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors interested in becoming secondary science or mathematics teachers. Raytheon invested in student development by providing merit-based scholarships, supporting an undergraduate research competition and interacting with student organizations.

Donors looking to make an impact created approximately 40 new Opportunity Funds. These endowed funds provide ongoing, unrestricted support for any unit. Dr. Cindy Sherry BS’78, chair and medical director of the department of radiology at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and her husband, Dr. Dean Sherry, celebrated his 40th year as a UT Dallas faculty member by establishing an Opportunity Fund for the Chemistry Department.

The campaign’s progress is encouraging to campaign co-chair Ron Nash MS’79.

Dixtinguished Alumna Susan Fleming PhD'87

Distinguished Alumna Susan Fleming PhD'87 included the University in her estate plans.

“As a longtime venture capital executive and an alumnus of UT Dallas, I have a vested interest in seeing Realize the Vision succeed. I am hopeful more alumni and more business leaders will see our progress and understand that their gifts are a great investment in the future,” said Nash, who is funding a new distinguished professorship in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

Supporters are ensuring the existence of need-based scholarships and funding for faculty through gift planning that includes bequests and charitable gift annuities. For example, 2012 Distinguished Alumna Susan Fleming PhD’87 included the University in her estate plans so that future students will be able to focus on their studies, rather than the cost of college.

Campus Enhancement Funds ensure that the beautification of UT Dallas will endure. The second phase of enhancement is expected to begin later this year, thanks to an additional $15 million in private funding.

Realize the Vision logo

“Campaigns provide a platform for the institution to communicate its goals and aspirations and to engage donors in fulfilling them,” said Rae Goldsmith, vice president of advancement resources for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “Effective campaigns attract those who have long supported the university as well as new donors who will almost certainly continue to give after the campaign has ended. And that means that campaigns help secure the university’s immediate future and position it for the longer-term as well.”

To learn more, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 972-883-6504 or visit

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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November 14, 2018