Houston Family Donates $5 Million Toward Construction of Graduate Business School

Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, founders of Houston energy company StarTex Power and alumni of The University of Texas at Austin, have pledged $5 million toward the construction of Robert B. Rowling Hall, the new graduate education building at the McCombs School of Business.

In recognition of the gift, the ballroom in the building will be named the Zlotnik Family Ballroom. It will connect Rowling Hall to the neighboring ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center. It will give both the graduate business program and the conference center the capacity to host large-scale conferences and events as Austin continues to grow and as construction of many new venues throughout the city commences.

"Rowling Hall is going to make this university an even stronger, more vibrant place to learn," says Bob Zlotnik. "We have waited for the opportunity to align our family with this project, which will provide a direct link between students, faculty members and business leaders."

The $5 million Zlotnik gift is a significant achievement in a building campaign to raise $58 million in donations by the beginning of March. A gift of $25 million from Dallas businessman Robert B. Rowling and his wife, Terry Hennersdorf Rowling, also University of Texas alumni, launched the campaign to fund the construction of the new graduate business building.

"Fundraising for this ambitious project has reached the next level as people continue to come forward with generous gifts to support the plans for Rowling Hall," says McCombs School of Business Dean Thomas W. Gilligan. "We look forward to the weeks ahead as more gifts are announced."

The Zlotniks have a long history of supporting business education and athletics at the university. Bob and Marcie Zlotnik are both UT Austin business graduates  he received a BBA in 1975 and an MBA in 1980, and she received a BBA in 1983. They have two sons, Kevin and Mitchell, currently enrolled in the business school and one son, Matthew, in high school.

They have previously donated $1 million to the McCombs School to establish a chair in entrepreneurship. Bob Zlotnik serves on the McCombs School of Business Dean's Advisory Council and has been appointed as chair of the council starting in November.  Marcie Zlotnik serves on the UT Austin Development Board.

The Zlotniks decision to target $5 million for the ballroom at Rowling Hall was made as a family.

"Teaching all our boys about giving back and getting involved is paramount to their success as future leaders," says Marcie Zlotnik.