Based on a bold vision, the university embarked on a historic campaign to raise $3 billion, an amount unprecedented in the state of Texas.
In September 2008, only a month prior to publicly announcing the campaign, the nation faced the beginning of economic turmoil and a global financial crisis. The university forged ahead.
With only one year left and still 25 percent of the goal remaining, the task seemed insurmountable.
But Longhorn Nation rallied its support.
Far more than a number, the Campaign for Texas was about how supporting people, places, and our purpose can transform the educational experience and create a lasting legacy of excellence. We thank you for making this possible.
Continuing our commitment to the core of the university: our students and faculty
At the heart of our university are the people — the students and the faculty — who step onto campus from around the world and from different backgrounds to share a singular experience. They come to The University of Texas to learn, to share, to ask questions, to solve problems, and to grow.
Because of You
“The program really changed my perspective on my degree. It opened my eyes to a more holistic view. Looking at the human component is just as important as the scientific issues.”— Emma Heitmann, Forty Acres ScholarEmma Heitmann
As a budding environmental scientist, Forty Acres Scholar Emma Heitmann traveled to Botswana in 2013 to learn about the earth. In the end she learned about the world.
The Forty Acres Scholars Program, administered by the Texas Exes, paid for her trip to the southern African nation. Aimed at bringing the best to Texas, the program offers full-ride scholarships that cover not only the basics but also summer enrichment activities such as study abroad. …
“Any artistic endeavor is an expression and affirmation of human existence and our lived experience.”– Delilah Dominguez, MSW '14Delilah Dominguez
Delilah Dominguez believes that art makes life worth living. That is why her work as the director of Early Memory Loss Programs at AGE (Austin Groups for the Elderly) of Central Texas uses creativity and arts to help those suffering with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dominguez received her master’s in social work in 2014 from The University of Texas. During her time at UT, she was the recipient of a Gerontology Resources and the Aging Community in Education (GRACE) fellowship …
“The RGV Scholarship has been an unbelievable source of financial support for me and for my family … this has helped make my dream of attending UT Austin a reality.”– Brenden McDonough, Rio Grande Valley ScholarBrenden McDonough
There are no limits to what young people can achieve when they commit themselves to excellence. Recognizing this, community leaders in the Rio Grande Valley joined forces with the university and Texas Exes so that some of the region’s highest achievers can fulfill their dreams at the state’s premier public university.
UT appreciates the essential role the Rio Grande Valley plays in contributing to a strong and diverse student body that reflects the state’s growing population. …
“Anton’s artistic brilliance, personal and musical generosity, boundless energy, and irresistible joie de vivre make him the ambassador for piano at the Butler School.”— Mary Ellen Poole, Director, Butler School of MusicAnton Nel
There are many ways to describe Anton Nel, a well-respected and award-winning pianist. He is an active performer with nearly four decades of concerts under his belt, a collaborator with the Cleveland Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and more, and winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall. Included in this list of accomplishments is treasured UT faculty member. …
“I view teaching as oxygen. I need students to ensure a stronger research program.”— Irene Gamba, W.A. "Tex" Moncrief Chair in Computational Engineering and Sciences IIIIrene Gamba
Anyone who swore that math class would never matter in the real world needs to talk to Irene Gamba. The mathematics professor and core member at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) is showing just how relevant math can be. Her work is helping ICES researchers analyze everything from spacecraft re-entry to how two people reach an agreement. …
“People are asking businesses these days to be more responsible, particularly on environmental issues. Businesses seem to be responding.”— Laura Starks, Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair in FinanceLaura Starks
Sometimes it’s not just about the money, even in business.
Socially responsible investing — investing that considers nonmonetary factors such as a company’s stand on the environment, human rights, or moral issues — is on the rise in the 21st century. The trend spikes following disasters such as the BP oil spill or the 2007–2008 global financial crisis, a UT business professor has found. …
“You can read about it in a book or listen to me tell you how it works or even listen to people who do it for a living, but I think being there, seeing it firsthand, and experiencing it will give you more factual information.”— Todd Olmstead, James M. and Claudia U. Richter Fellow in Global Health PolicyTodd Olmstead
For many people, calling for an ambulance is the only way they can get treatment, but it’s not always the most cost-effective choice. One UT professor wants to help reimagine emergency services in an evolving health care industry.
“Emergency departments are exactly where you want to go if you’re in a car wreck or have a stroke or heart attack, but they’re not great places if you have a bad cold or a mental illness,” says Dr. Todd Olmstead …
Creating the space necessary to inspire learning, foster collaboration, and explore opportunities
Whether on the Forty Acres or in the greater community, the places where our students learn and develop are critically important. They deserve access to the best facilities, tools, and resources to nurture their passions.
During the past eight years, the campus landscape has welcomed the development of modern buildings, and technology has provided students new ways of learning and engaging with each other and their professors. Beyond the campus walls, our students have gained unique opportunities to travel to places near and far to gain experiences and perspectives that can’t be taught in the classroom.
On the UT campus
Along with impressive renovations and upgrades of existing facilities across the Forty Acres, UT constructed new buildings where they were needed the most. Each was designed specifically to enhance learning and the student experience.
- The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center hosts students, faculty and campus visitors with unique, state-of-the-art conference facilities.
- The Belo Center for New Media provides interactive classrooms and meeting space for students in the Moody College of Communication and houses the KUT Public Media Studios.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex, which includes …
Arts and Humanities
The arts have flourished at UT, benefiting not only students but everyone who enjoys and appreciates a diverse offering of music, theater, dance, and visual art.
The Butler School of Music, named early in the campaign for generous longtime benefactors Ernest and Sarah Butler, has risen steadily in stature, joining the elite company of top music schools and conservatories. Texas Performing Arts also has grown and prospered, offering new initiatives like the Student Ticket Fund, which enables students to attend eclectic world-class performances at low cost. …
New Ways to Learn
UT students are learning more than ever, and they are doing it in new and exciting ways. Technology plays a major role, but in some cases it’s a matter of simply thinking about fresh ways to teach and learn.
Smart classrooms offer the latest in instructional technology. In some classes students can use their smartphones to engage with the lesson, enabling teachers to ask questions, gather responses, and display them in real-time. They know immediately whether students understand course materials and grasp complex concepts. Such a system inspires active learning, promotes discussion, uncovers misconceptions …
Beyond the Forty Acres
Projects for Underserved Communities
The Cockrell School of Engineering is working to solve global challenges while giving students real-world experience.
In 2009, the college collaborated with the International Office and the School of Social Work to launch Projects for Underserved Communities (PUC), a course in which students apply their engineering skills to technical challenges in rural …
White House Internship
Damilola Olatayo thought she was going to die when she contracted malaria at age 11. But unlike many others in her native Nigeria, her family had access to health care.
She regained her health, and with it a determination to help others who don’t have that access. Fast-forward a few years, and her plans to pursue a career in global medicine were on the …
A modest public service idea has grown into an important tool for improving health awareness for thousands of Texans. Project Collaborate began as a way for College of Pharmacy student organizations to combine their varied outreach efforts to populations with limited resources, lack of insurance, or language barriers. Students hone their clinical skills through such efforts while helping others. …
Solving the important issues of our time while developing future leaders to do the same
We say What Starts Here Changes the World, and we mean it. As a top-tier public research institution, we are responsible for helping to answer major questions impacting the globe and beyond. But that’s not all. We have a profound responsibility to ensure that our students come out of their university experience with the same desire, drive, and know-how to continue this tradition.
“People are willing to risk their lives to come here. How does a child get to the point of thinking that this is the only option?”— Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, Fellow of Alma Cowden Madden Centennial Associate ProfessorshipNicole Guidotti-Hernández
What motivates people to flee their homelands without their families? Why do so many flock to the United States?
Those questions arose this summer, when Central American children seeking asylum flooded the Texas-Mexico border. The past may provide some answers.
Associate Professor Nicole Guidotti-Hernández used funds from the Alma Cowden Madden Centennial Professorship, which she holds, to travel to Mexico City and study correspondence between …
UT researchers are leading the charge to understand dark energy, and what they learn could challenge what we thought we knew about the origins of the universe and the principles of physics, even gravity.Karl Gebhardt
Dark energy has been called the greatest question in all of science. The answer to this mystery could change everything.
The universe has been expanding ever since the big bang. According to the law of gravity, that expansion should slow down and everything should start coming back together. But the universe continues to expand, and at an accelerated rate. The force causing this phenomenon …
“Our goal is to detect and treat cancer at the cellular level and at its earliest stage when survival rates are highest.”— James Tunnell, Roberta Woods Centennial Fellow in EngineeringJames Tunnell
Treating cancer can be tricky. We know that early detection is best, but the detection process itself can be invasive, and some cancers are difficult to detect until the end stages. Removing tumors is not always exact, and sometimes healthy tissue is destroyed while stray cancer cells are missed.
James Tunnell, associate professor of biomedical engineering, is working to change all that. …
Do all 18-year-olds know what they want to do? Some do. For everyone else, Undergraduate Studies is the ideal starting place to explore the many options. Offering an innovative combination of career counseling and academic advising, as well as interdisciplinary small seminars for freshmen, UT has become a national model in supporting students at multiple points during their academic career. …
Freshman Research Initiative
“If you had told me in high school that in two years I would be doing top-of-the-line, cutting-edge research in astrophysics, I would have called you a liar,” said computer science major Sean Moorhead, a participant in UT’s enormously successful Freshman Research Initiative, or FRI.
FRI is turning students like Moorhead into …
Dell Medical School
With the opening of Dell Medical School, UT has the unique opportunity to train the next generation of doctors in a new model of patient-centered health care.
“We want to train students to care for people and communities, not just treat diseases,” said the school’s founding dean, Dr. Clay Johnston. …
ONE LAST THANK YOU
Dear Longhorn Family,
With awe and admiration I thank you for your tremendous investment in this university during the Campaign for Texas. This report represents a mere fraction of the advancements you have helped us make on our campus and the lives you have forever changed. Every college, school, and unit has benefited from your steadfast generosity. We’ve upgraded facilities to meet the demands of our new technologically advanced society, provided full scholarships to first-generation college students, recruited some of the world’s greatest minds, and strived to answer some of the most pressing questions of our time. Because of you we have been able to create an unparalleled academic and research experience on the Forty Acres.
My heart is filled with thanks for every member of the Longhorn family — individuals, foundations, associations, and corporations — who helped us. Especially, I thank three devoted alumni — Kenny Jastrow, who chaired the campaign, and Charles Tate and Libba Massey, who served as its co-vice chairs. These and hundreds of thousands more made the campaign a success.
When I announced this campaign more than six years ago amid global financial collapse, I did so knowing that one thing was certain — we owed it to future generations of students to ensure that The University of Texas at Austin remained a university of the first class. Because of you, we successfully completed this campaign. We will feel the impact of these changes for years to come. What starts here truly changes the world. And this time, that change has started with you. Thank you.