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March 2 gala to celebrate opening of LBJ School’s Center for Philanthropy and Community Service

The recent opening of the Center for Philanthropy and Community Service will be celebrated on March 2 with a private dinner at the Great Hall of the LBJ Library on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The recent opening of the Center for Philanthropy and Community Service will be celebrated on March 2 with a private dinner at the Great Hall of the LBJ Library on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Based in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, adjacent to the library, the center is the first of its kind in the southwest region and only the second such program in the country with a university-wide program goal.

The center, which opened in January, will strengthen the philanthropic and community service sector regionally, nationally and internationally through programs of education, research, outreach and support for innovation. Its services will be available to students, professionals employed in the independent sector and people interested in expanding or improving the management and work of philanthropic and community service organizations.

The March 2 dinner will feature several speakers, including UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner; Curtis Meadows, executive director of the center and former president of The Meadows Foundation; and Greg Kozmetsky, chairman of the RGK Foundation. Also on the program will be Jack Blanton, chairman of Houston Endowment Inc., the largest private philanthropic foundation in Texas and Ed Dorn, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

The RGK Foundation and Houston Endowment, two of the center’s lead donors, will be honored during the program. The RGK Foundation has given $250,000 to the center as seed money to support the center’s startup operations. They also have pledged $5 million more in a one dollar-for-two dollars-challenge grant designed to raise a total of $15 million of endowment and operating funds for the center over the next five years. The Houston Endowment has given $500,000 to establish an educational concentration in nonprofit management at the LBJ School of Public affairs.

Meadows acknowledged the “extraordinary generosity” of those donors as well as the “support and encouragement” of Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, Dorn, Faulkner and members of the LBJ School of Public Affairs faculty in enabling the center’s establishment.

“The center has been created in the belief that the independent sector of our society is vital to our nation’s well being and will be called upon to assume even greater responsibility in the future,” Meadows said. “Preparing and supporting leadership for this sector while building greater understanding through research and instruction with those in the field will be cornerstones of the program.

“With the predicted vast transfer of wealth and the growing government devolution of social safety net responsibilities, establishing the center at the LBJ School is very timely and provides a great opportunity for UT Austin to contribute to our state, region and nation.”

The LBJ School of Public Affairs was established in 1970 and is a graduate component of UT Austin. It offers a comprehensive program of education for public affairs-related careers in government, business and nonprofit organizations.

“This (center) is the most ambitious program the LBJ School has started in many years,” said Dorn.

Additional information on the center or the program is available from Joe Youngblood at (512) 471-2760, or at e-mail address jyoungblood@mail.utexas.edu.

(Note to editors: From 6-7 p.m.,Curtis Meadows, Dean Dorn, Greg Kozmetsky, Jack Blanton and Larry Faulkner will be available for interviews inside the Great Hall.)