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UT Austin to name street honoring alumnus Robert Dedman, known for philanthropy in helping National Merit Scholars

The University of Texas at Austin has named a campus street for alumnus Robert H. Dedman Sr., honoring him for several decades of philanthropy and service.

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AUSTIN, Texas —The University of Texas at Austin has named a campus street for alumnus Robert H. Dedman Sr., honoring him for several decades of philanthropy and service.

Dedman, a Dallas businessman, is one of the state’s most prolific philanthropists, having contributed more than $100 million to education and other causes. In 1986, Dedman and his wife, Nancy, pledged $10 million for scholarships in the UT Austin College of Liberal Arts and to support UT Austin’s National Merit Scholars.

A public ceremony at 4 p.m. on Sept. 8 will change the name of former East Campus Drive to Robert Dedman Drive. The street, which runs north and south between W. Dean Keeton Street and Red River Street, is one of the major public thoroughfares of the campus, with the LBJ Library on its eastern side and the Performing Arts Center and Darrel K RoyalÐTexas Memorial Stadium across the street on the west. The dedication ceremony will be held at the UT Club on campus.

“Mr. and Mrs. Dedman’s gift had an immediate and lasting impact,” said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner. “It secured the University’s number one ranking among public universities in the recruitment of National Merit Scholars and made it possible for us to attract some of the best and brightest students in the country.”

UT Austin attracts more National Merit Scholars than any of its peer public universities, such as Berkeley, Michigan and Illinois. Among private institutions, UT Austin is second only to Harvard, enrolling more freshman merit scholars than Stanford, Rice and Yale.

The street-naming idea came as a surprise to the honoree when campus officials approached him with it. “I have a lot of love for this University,” said Dedman, who studied at UT Austin from 1945 to 1948, earning three degrees. “This is a meaningful honor to me, and one that I will cherish.”

Johnnie D. Ray, UT Austin’s vice president for resource development, said the idea emerged last year as a way to recognize Dedman for his extraordinary record of UT philanthropy. “Mr. Dedman’s gifts are an excellent example of how targeted private giving can profoundly enhance an institution’s academic quality and reputation. We are proud to honor him in this way.”

The UT Ex-Students’ Association in 1990 named Dedman a Distinguished Alumnus in recognition of his accomplishments in business, civic service and philanthropy. Dedman founded and serves as chairman of the board of ClubCorp International, a Dallas-based company that is the world’s largest operator of private clubs, resorts and country clubs.

Top 10 US Universities in Freshman Merit Scholars

1999 Rank
Institution
Merit Scholars
1
Harvard University 394
2
The University of Texas at Austin 244
3
The University of California, Berkeley 235
4
Stanford University 229
5
Rice University 183
6
Texas AandM University, College Station 181
7
The University of Florida 176
8
Yale University 170
9
The University of Chicago 139
10
The University of Oklahoma, Norman 136

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education