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UT News

40 for Forty — UT Austin’s Texas-Sized Day of Giving — Begins

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AUSTIN, Texas — For 40 hours, alumni, students, faculty members, staffers and friends will come together to support world-changing people, places and programs across The University of Texas at Austin. UT Austin’s Texas-sized day of giving, 40 Hours for the Forty Acres, launched at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 31. More than 150 student organizations, projects, programs, departments and cultural centers across the university are crowdfunding to thrive and grow.

The annual campaign has raised more than $23 million since launching eight years ago. It offers a unique opportunity for people connected to the university to rally and make a gift to support their passions. Gifts can be designated to:

  • Fund scholarships for talented students.
  • Provide seed grants for disease-related research projects.
  • Support the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and its programs such as the Fearless Leadership Institute for Black and Latina women studying at UT.
  • Support places on campus with world-renowned collections such as the Blanton Museum of Art.
  • Impact Central Texas communities and support the people most affected by COVID-19.
  • And much more

“Your contributions to UT during 40 for Forty enable our students and faculty to pursue excellence in new and creative ways across a host of academic fields,” said UT Austin President Jay Hartzell. “We’re both humbled and honored to have our 40 for Forty supporters work with us to change the world.”

During the 40 hours, numerous giving challenges and matching gifts create excitement and incentivize participation. For example, during the president’s power hour from 3 to 4 p.m. on both days, gifts to support student initiatives will be matched dollar for dollar until matching funds are exhausted.

Last year, more than 6,600 members of Longhorn Nation made gifts during 40 for Forty. Participation has grown dramatically as philanthropy has become an increasingly important part of funding excellence at UT.

Recent UT graduate Grace Schrobilgen is grateful to 40 for Forty for the opportunity it provided to her favorite campus service organization, Texas Orange Jackets, to raise funds for a new endowed scholarship.

“We completely blew our fundraising goals out of the water,” Schrobilgen said. “Starting in fall 2022, an incoming freshman will receive this scholarship. And that will happen for someone every year — forever.”

This year, Austin philanthropists John Paul and Eloise DeJoria and their family foundation are participating in 40 for Forty by making an inspirational gift. They have given $2 million to create an endowed faculty chair that will provide ongoing support for Dell Medical School’s faculty leader and programs to improve health for people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, and other vulnerable populations.

“At one time in my life, I was homeless; I know what it’s like,” said John Paul DeJoria, who lived in his car while building his business empire. “The American dream happened for me. True success is doing something for someone else and asking nothing in return — success unshared is failure. My family and I wanted to invest in a permanent position to help people in need, and UT is the perfect partner for this.”

Get an up-to-the-minute look at the campaign’s progress and make a gift at 40for40.utexas.edu. Follow and post to #UT40for40 to join in.