The University of Texas at Austin has announced the completion of a $10 million fundraising campaign to establish the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, named in honor of Stan Richards, founder of Dallas-based advertising agency The Richards Group, the largest independent agency in America.
Numerous corporations, foundations and individuals contributed to the six-year campaign, including Richards. The Stan Richards School will serve as one of the five academic units within the Moody College of Communication. The funds will support projects across the Richards School and build upon its reputation as one of the nation's top advertising and public relations programs.
Richards named one of The Wall Street Journal's "Giants of Our Time" in advertising has won virtually every significant creative award in the world of advertising. In 1999 he was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame, where he joined such luminaries as Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.
"I am incredibly humbled to receive this honor," Richards said. "I personally value the close relationship I've now had with The University of Texas for a number of years, and The Richards Group is always thrilled to recruit from the school's talented pool of students and young alumni. I look forward to seeing what is already one of the top advertising and PR programs in the country continue to grow and flourish as the Stan Richards School."
Richards has a long history of supporting the Moody College speaking to classes, serving on the advisory council and fundraising for scholarships. He is a past recipient of the Moody College's Robert C. Jeffrey Benefactor Award (2010) and the Reddick Award for Leadership in Communication (1996).
"Stan Richards' creative genius has brought the advertising industry in the State of Texas to the competitive level of New York, Chicago and San Francisco," said Isabella Cunningham, professor and outgoing chair of the Stan Richards School. "His generous gift will ensure that our program will graduate the future leaders in our field and that creativity will continue to be the most important ingredient in persuasive marketing communication. It is fitting that our school will bear his name, as his generosity, mentorship and foresight will forever be the guiding principles for our school."
A celebration event will take place Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. in the Belo Center Auditorium (2.106), 300 W. Dean Keeton St., with speakers including Richards, Cunningham and Moody College of Communication Dean Roderick P. Hart.
"Stan Richards' gift and the campaign for the Richards School will have a lasting legacy for our advertising and public relations students, for which I am deeply thankful," said Bill Powers, president of The University of Texas at Austin. "These contributions were vital to both the Moody College's pursuit of excellence and the university's successful, record-breaking capital campaign."
"We are tremendously grateful for the overwhelming support of Mr. Richards," Hart said. "Stan Richards' legacy as a creative force and visionary in the advertising industry will serve as an inspiration to students and faculty. His generosity will enhance the credibility of the school and the opportunities available to our students."