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May 2012

First Comprehensive Campaign Sets $200 Million Goal

On March 29, our campus paused to note what will become a milestone in University history—the announcement of our first comprehensive fundraising campaign. In a series of events, we celebrated a sort of coming of age for the University and shared plans to raise $200 million by 2014.

We announced gifts totaling more than $20 million, part of more than $110 million in hand toward our goal. The gifts fund scholarships, research programs focused on health, construction of a center devoted to fighting autism, campus enhancement and a biomedical device center.

Why does UT Dallas deserve this support? For me, this campaign is about a principle modeled by my parents, members of that group Tom Brokaw dubbed the Greatest Generation. They endured the Depression, fought World War II, made personal sacrifices without number—all to ensure that my life would encompass something better than the challenges they survived.

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This campaign is my way of carrying through on their commitment. I want to assure that our children enjoy a better quality of life than ours by sustaining and building on the accomplishments of my forebears. It was the Greatest Generation that gave us post-World War II "nation building," creating the interstate highway system, the space program and great national research universities. They made the United States the preeminent nation in the world and a country others aspire to emulate.

Today, there are threats to sustaining this great system, from highways to universities. To me, this makes clear three essential realities:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth urgently needs a world-class academic research university. Without one, our ability to lead through innovation, create and grow successful businesses, ensure future prosperity, and leave our children better off will be severely hampered.
  • UT Dallas is perfectly poised, in form and in time, to be what this region urgently needs.
  • State support and tuition are not enough. Our community, friends and alumni must step forward if the vision is to be realized.

Please reflect on what made this nation great, and what will be necessary to do so in the future. We don't want our children living in a land that competes on the basis of who can offer the lowest wages. To ensure prosperity and improved quality of life, we must be the smartest, most creative, most innovative people. Building such people is the role of our great research universities. The benefits accrue not just to those who attend universities, but to everyone around them—those who work for companies created by alumni, who enjoy the fine-art performances of artists educated at the University, or who enjoy longer, healthier lives because of discoveries made at UT Dallas.

This campaign's success will enable a critical step toward a world-class academic research university in Dallas-Fort Worth. We are very close. DFW needs us to get there right now.

I express my most sincere gratitude to our supporters. Share your thoughts with me at [email protected].

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UT Dallas

About This Newsletter

The President’s Viewpoint is a periodic newsletter distributed to a select group of alumni, friends, faculty and staff. It comes from the desk of Dr. David E. Daniel, president of The University of Texas at Dallas, and provides the ultimate insider’s view on the news and concerns of the University.