The Lebermann Foundation, established by former University of Texas System Regent and Plan II student Lowell H. Lebermann Jr., is donating $2.5 million to The University of Texas at Austin to help recruit top students for the Plan II Honors Program.
A $2 million portion of the gift will support the construction of the home of Plan II in the new Liberal Arts building, to be named the Lowell H. Lebermann Jr. Plan II Honors Suite.
The remaining $500,000 will be dedicated to the launch of the Lowell H. Lebermann Jr. Scholarship Program, a full four-year scholarship program for Plan II students. These scholarships will enhance the statewide, national and global visibility, accessibility and prestige of Plan II and The University of Texas at Austin in the manner of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's Morehead-Cain Scholarship Program and the University of Virginia's Jefferson Scholarships.
"I am proud that through these remarkable gifts Lowell's legacy will be remembered in a scholarship and a facility that will be integral parts of a program that meant so much to him," said President Bill Powers. "Lowell embodied what Plan II is all about cultivating the minds and imaginations of our very best students and giving them the opportunities they need to fulfill their promise as thinkers, doers, and leaders."
"I am so pleased that the Lebermann Foundation is able to provide significant support to Plan II, one of the parts of UT Austin of which my father was most proud," said Virginia Lebermann, chair and president of the Lebermann Foundation, at a recent ceremony at the Headliners Club in Austin. "My father loved to learn, and he loved to meet and learn from people who brought unique knowledge, perspective and excellence to a conversation. He received an endless supply of this sort of learning when he was a Plan II student, and he used these experiences as a model for the rest of his life."
Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a member of the board of the Lebermann Foundation and longtime friend of Lebermann's, said, "Lowell was one of the most extraordinary people I've ever known. I don't know of a person who was more caring, more concerned and more compassionate than Lowell Lebermann. His inspirational legacy will now be carried by the Lebermann Scholars of Plan II, who will know well the model of how one can give back and better his alma mater and the world."
Completion of the new Liberal Arts building is expected by January 2013. Fundraising and recruitment for the Lowell H. Lebermann Jr. Scholarship Program will start immediately with the goal of selecting the first Lebermann Scholars for the 2013-2014 academic year.
"The opportunity provided by the Lowell Lebermann Jr. Scholarship Fund is truly a rare gift," said Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Fully funding an honors student not only ensures that we can recruit the most capable students, but it also demonstrates a commitment to the academic success and intellectual promise of these students."