The University of Texas at Austin has raised more money in the current fiscal year than in any previous year: $396 million, with three weeks still to go before the Aug. 31 cutoff placing it among the top public universities in the nation.
The increased philanthropy is essential to maintaining and expanding the university's excellence in an era when funding for higher education has shifted from public to private support across much of the nation. It is drawing praise both on campus and from national philanthropic leaders.
"The UT Austin community should take great pride in this remarkable achievement," said John Lippincott, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which supports fundraising at universities around the world.
"The year-end fundraising results place UT Austin among a very select group of universities both public and private receiving contributions at this level. Most important, the significant growth in philanthropic investment in UT Austin signals tremendous support among donors for the mission, the quality and the direction of the institution."
The record giving comes as the university prepares to enter the final year of its eight-year Campaign for Texas. Highlights of this year's efforts include:
- Almost 88,154 donors contributed, including approximately 84,830 individuals, 2,629 corporations and a record 304 foundations.
- The donors include 35,539 individuals who are not alumni but want to support UT Austin.
- The largest gifts include pledges of $50 million from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation for the Dell Medical School and $25 million from Terry and Robert Rowling for a new graduate education building for the McCombs School of Business.
- More than 90 percent of the gifts were for less than $1,000.
- A record 208 individuals included gifts to UT Austin in their estate plans, totaling $76 million, the highest annual amount during the current campaign and the second highest annual amount in the university's history.
"These record-level gifts will directly benefit our students, support game-changing research and help us make The University of Texas at Austin the top public research university in the nation," said UT Austin president Bill Powers, who will become chair of the Association of American Universities in October. "I am grateful to the tens of thousands of alumni and friends who recognize UT Austin's excellence and want to make the university even greater. Their generosity will help generations of students."
The university has raised nearly $2.2 billion through the Campaign for Texas, which has an ambitious $3 billion goal nearly twice as much as what was raised under the largest previous campaign in the state, which was also at UT Austin. The university is one of only three public universities to aim to raise $3 billion, a goal that remains within reach with continued strong support from alumni and friends.
The university's previous annual fundraising high was $366 million in 2007-08.