UT Dallas Announces 1st Comprehensive Campaign
Launch of ‘Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One & Beyond’ to be Celebrated at Campus Event Noon Thursday

Marking a 40-year transformation that has taken UT Dallas from a collection of research stations in a cotton field to a center of educational excellence for almost 20,000 students, the University will celebrate the launch of its first comprehensive campaign on Thursday.

UT Dallas

UT Dallas enters its first comprehensive campaign to propel its efforts to become the first national research university in North Texas.

The $200 million, five-year campaign is a milestone for the growing university. Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One & Beyond is a key part of UT Dallas’ quest to become a nationally competitive research institution.

“The best and most healthy societies are going to be clustered around the world’s great research universities,” said President David E. Daniel. “These are the places where innovation occurs, where new businesses are created, where the very best and brightest people aggregate. Research universities have been essential to our country’s advancement, and they will define who is successful in the world going forward.”


What: Buffet lunch at noon, program at 12:45 p.m.
When: Thursday, March 29
Where: In front of the Visitor Center

James Huffines, President of PlainsCapital Corp.

James Huffines, co-chair of the University Campaign Council and President of PlainsCapital Corp.

Since the campaign’s quiet beginning in September 2009, the University has received more than 25 gifts of $1 million or more and the number of endowed funds has increased by 67 percent. The total amount of funds raised to date, as well as several momentous gifts, will be announced during campaign launch events at the campus Thursday. 

For business leader James Huffines, the campaign poses an opportunity to help elevate the North Texas economy.

“As UT Dallas grows, the economic impact on our region will be transformational. Research breakthroughs will lead to new start-up companies, more skilled graduates will enter the workforce, and greater venture capital dollars will be invested here,” said Huffines, co-chair of the University Campaign Council and President of PlainsCapital Corp. 

Jess Hay, UT System Board of Regents, 1977-1989

Jess Hay, honorary co-chair of the University Campaign Council and former member of the UT System Board of Regents

Former UT System Board of Regents member Jess Hay watched UT Dallas in its infancy in the 1970s. Now, as honorary co-chair of the campaign council, he will help the University usher in a new era. “From its very beginning, UT Dallas was conceived and designed to be a research center sharply focused on academically inspired innovation generated by excellent faculty and exceedingly bright students. In faithfully pursuing that objective, the institution has moved steadily toward realization of the vision of its founders,” Hay said.

Those visionary founders, Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green, also created Texas Instruments.

In honor of the past and with an eye to the future, Hay encouraged private support of UT Dallas.

“We all should respond generously to the University’s campaign with a view to expanding dramatically the institution’s positive impact on the future of our community and, indeed, of our broader commonwealth,” Hay said.

And in fact, campaigns can do just that.

“Campaigns generate enthusiasm and energize donors who want to be part of the institution’s success,” said Rae Goldsmith, vice president of advancement resources at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “And campaigns are also extremely effective. Some fund-raisers estimate that they raise on average 40 percent more than they would if they weren’t in a campaign.”

For campaign leaders, like Huffines, the time for action is now.

“I have no doubt UT Dallas can become a great Tier One research university. The question is not whether it happens, but when,” said Huffines, a former chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “This campaign is the opportunity to accelerate that pace.”

President David E. Daniel

President David E. Daniel says the campaign will help the University capitalize on its momentum.

President Daniel, who has overseen the transforming campus’ rapid growth in students, academic programs and facilities since his arrival in 2005, said the University is poised to build on its recent momentum.

“The University is already doing great, but we aspire to be one of the very best universities to be found anywhere in this nation,” he said. “We’re moving there just as quickly as we can, and this campaign is going to greatly improve our rate of progress.

“It will plant the flag at the University of Texas at Dallas as an institution that is rapidly approaching the rarefied air as one of the best institutions in this country.”

Campaign Begins with Momentum

Campaign Priorities


Research is supported by gifts that establish new endowed chairs, professorships, and graduate student fellowships. Private support for the University’s many leading research centers and the Eugene McDermott Library strengthens existing research activities and allows for expansion into critical new fields.


The University is aiming for a $400 million endowment. All great universities benefit from the permanent resources generated by their endowments. UT Dallas is fortunate to have an endowment of more than $270 million, which is one of the largest among institutions younger than 50 years. The Tier One vision requires a larger endowment.


Many academic and research programs at UT Dallas have already achieved national and international stature. Sustaining this level of excellence requires considerable resources, as does enhancing the other units and programs that will soon join the top ranks in their fields.


To make a gift or find out more, visit the Office of Development website or call 972-883-2295.

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

Tagged: Campus