The Campaign for Texas, the state’s most ambitious nonprofit fundraising effort to date, concluded Aug. 31, topping its $3 billion goal by $115 million.
The $856 million that The University of Texas at Austin raised in the campaign’s final year is believed to set a new single-year record for higher-education fundraising in the state. Gifts to the eight-year campaign came from all 50 states and 97 countries.
“My heart is filled with thanks for every member of the Longhorn family individuals, foundations, associations and corporations who helped us,” said UT President Bill Powers.
The campaign, which drew more than 270,000 donors of gifts small and large, fueled a campus building boom and an influx of student and faculty talent. The campaign also raised money for pioneering research into matters ranging from the microscopic designing cancer-fighting nanoparticles to the vast building the largest map of the universe ever created.
University leaders chose the $3 billion figure after studying what it would cost to implement the recommendations of the Commission of 125, a volunteer panel of more than 200 Texas and national leaders charged with outlining a vision for UT’s future. The panel’s 2004 report reiterated the 1876 Texas constitutional mandate for a “university of the first class,” recommending undergraduate curriculum reform and more demanding standards for leadership of academic departments and centers.
The campaign, which began its quiet phase in September 2006, faced challenges from the beginning. A month before the scheduled October 2008 public unveiling, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston. Two days later the country’s fourth-largest investment bank filed for bankruptcy, triggering a national recession and a global financial crisis. University leaders announced the campaign as planned, saying they were in it for the long haul.
“The Campaign for Texas is an even greater achievement than the numbers convey because we succeeded during one of the worst economic times since the Great Depression,” campaign chair Kenny Jastrow said. “Thank you to our alumni and friends who had the vision and commitment to help the university we all love succeed.”
While the campaign had a goal in terms of dollars, its purpose was bigger than money. Focusing on its core resources students, faculty, facilities, and programs and research the university set out to change the world. Here are some of the accomplishments made possible by the Campaign for Texas.
What starts here changes the world. And it started with you. Thank you.
The Campaign for Texas was the work of a community, the Longhorn Nation. From the smallest gifts to the largest, each donor chose to invest in the future by supporting The University of Texas at Austin. Students, friends, alumni, faculty and staff participated by making the gifts that were most meaningful to them. Whether $5, $500 or $50 million, every gift has made a difference.
However you chose to give, thank you. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next exciting phase: realizing the dream of the Campaign for Texas.
The campaign laid the foundation. Now the hard work begins. Are you in?
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— UT Austin (@UTAustin) September 2, 2014
Check out the slideshow below for a snapshot of the university’s achievements over the past eight years.