AUSTIN, Texas–Bernard and Audre Rapoport, two generous benefactors of The University of Texas at Austin, will be honored Thursday (Oct. 22) in a campus ceremony to dedicate the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Building.
The Rapoports will be recognized for their longtime support and service to the University with the naming of the former economics building in their honor.
Bernard Rapoport, a 1939 graduate of UT, is the founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of American Income Life Insurance Company in Waco. He was named to Fortune magazine’s 1998 list of the 40 most generous Americans and currently serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute, the Institute for American Values and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, among others. He was a member of the UT System Board of Regents from 1991-1997, serving part of that time as chairman. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation was established by the couple in 1978 to support educational, social, cultural and public service entities throughout Texas and around the world.
Their support of UT Austin exceeds $18 million. Recent gifts from the Rapoports and the foundation include a pledge toward the construction of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art and the creation of an endowment for study abroad–the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Endowment for International and Multidisciplinary Studies–to which the foundation will contribute one-sixth of its annual distributions in perpetuity.
In addition, the Rapoports have established or contributed toward more than 10 endowments at the University, primarily in the College of Liberal Arts.
The Rapoports’ philanthropic spirit is best described in his words: “The University of Texas made it possible for me to discover talent I didn’t know I had. I cannot begin to repay this great University for all it has given me.”