Donations Top $1.1 Million on Extended Comets Giving Day
New Diversity Scholarship, Special Gift Highlight Event for Campus Causes

Student peer advisors took part in Comets Giving Day, which netted more than 2,600 gifts from supporters and raised over $1.1 million to help causes around campus.

During the fourth annual Comets Giving Day, University of Texas at Dallas supporters contributed more than $1.1 million to over 70 causes. Extended to last 1,969 minutes in honor of the year of the University’s founding, efforts by volunteers, alumni, corporate partners and friends nearly doubled the record-setting impact of last year’s Giving Day.

Comets Giving Day kicked off at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5 with a socially distanced car parade through campus, where vehicles decorated by representatives of campus groups competed to win bonus funds for their causes. Contest winners included the Black Faculty and Staff Alliance employee resource group, Comet Cupboard, the Military and Veteran Center and University Emergency Medical Response.

Throughout the two-day event, dozens of challenges and matching opportunities enhanced the impact of individual donations. One such challenge provided by Mbroh Engineering Inc. helped create the first endowed scholarship for the Diversity Scholars Program.

Vehicles decorated by campus groups, including the Military and Veteran Center, participated in a socially distanced parade to kick off Comets Giving Day.

“Fifty years from now, when UT Dallas becomes 100 years old, I want the first Mbroh Scholars — who will be successful leaders — to reflect on their history as future students are honored with the same scholarship,” said Anthony Mbroh, president of the minority-owned engineering consulting firm. “What an amazing gift bestowed upon us as donors to be part of these students’ journeys.”

Of the many campus groups that benefited from donor support during Giving Day, Comet Cupboard received the most gifts, unlocking additional funds to help students struggling with food insecurity.

“The funds raised during Comets Giving Day will assist the Comet Cupboard in meeting the increased needs that come with a new academic year surrounded by uncertainty,” said Hillary Campbell, director of undergraduate programs at UT Dallas. “Many students are experiencing challenges during this unprecedented time, but the Comet Cupboard wants to make sure that hunger isn’t one of them. We are grateful for those who supported this mission with their donations.”

“I genuinely love giving back to the campus and the community that has given me countless opportunities to thrive and succeed. I am so proud of what I managed to raise for UT Dallas because it shows I can still make a significant impact on campus despite being over 1,000 miles away.”

Troy Murray, a UT Dallas marketing sophomore from Las Vegas who was a digital ambassador on Comets Giving Day

Each year, digital ambassadors raise awareness of Comets Giving Day and drive donations through their social media networks. Due to the unusual circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, UT Dallas’ ambassadors were especially important this year by promoting giving across the country.

Troy Murray, a marketing sophomore from Las Vegas, garnered the greatest number of gifts among digital ambassadors this year.

“I genuinely love giving back to the campus and the community that has given me countless opportunities to thrive and succeed,” Murray said. “I am so proud of what I managed to raise for UT Dallas because it shows I can still make a​ significant impact on campus despite being over 1,000 miles away.”

David Williamson BS’98, MS’02, MS’03 also chose to support the University as a digital ambassador, raising the most money among his peers. He sees Comets Giving Day as an opportunity to remain close with the UT Dallas community while making a positive difference for important causes.

“I’ve enjoyed being involved with my alma mater in a variety of ways over the years since graduation, but Comets Giving Day is special to me,” said Williamson, founder of Wheelhouse Geoscience. “This annual day of giving allows me to feel most connected with my extended UTD family, with my fellow alumni who give generously to the students, professors and programs that benefit greatly from these donations.”

When Comets Giving Day concluded at 6:49 p.m. on Aug. 6, the University announced a special gift that unlocked after donors made 2,500 gifts. Meeting this goal activated a $500,000 contribution from the estate of Dr. James Carter, a celebrated geoscientist and one of the longest-serving faculty members at UT Dallas.

Marking the end of UT Dallas’ yearlong celebration of its first 50 years, the success of Comets Giving Day sets the stage for the next half-century.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].