AUSTIN, Texas — The Management Department in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin has long been recognized as a powerhouse for research excellence and teaching innovation. Now, it holds a new distinction. It is the first academic department in the business school to be named as the result of a generous gift.
The newly named Rozanne and Billy Rosenthal Department of Management has been made possible by a $25 million gift from two married Longhorns, Rozanne Rosenthal, B.S. ’74, and Billy Rosenthal, BBA ’72. The gift will enable the department to dramatically increase its efforts around research, teaching, students, faculty members and academic innovation.
The Rosenthal family’s business journey began in Fort Worth in 1935 when Ben H. Rosenthal, a Russian Jewish immigrant, rented a single meat locker, bought some beef in the nearby stockyards, processed it, and sold it from door to door to local clubs and hotels. He called his venture Standard Meat Company.
Nearly a century later, Standard Meat Company is in its fourth generation of family ownership, and the Rosenthal name is equally legendary in the food industry and the world of philanthropy, in Fort Worth, around Texas and across the country.
Billy remembers his grandfather giving away money even during Standard Meat’s leanest times, and the pride his father felt when he could start making significant gifts to people and causes he supported. “I was also taught that giving was just something you did naturally and that it felt good to give of yourself,” Rozanne said. Her family’s long history of volunteerism and community support led her to what she calls her “life’s work”: founding and leading the Fort Worth affiliate of Susan G. Komen to honor her best friend and UT roommate, Joan Katz, B.S. ’74, a four-time breast cancer survivor.
“This gift is a powerful example of what can happen when the values and sense of purpose of a family align with the mission of a department,” said Caroline Bartel, chair of the Rosenthal Department of Management. “At the heart of what we do as a department is in the human part of business enterprise — how people motivate, influence and lead others, and how they make decisions and work together to strengthen the vitality and success of their companies,” Bartel said. “The Rosenthals’ gift will greatly amplify our ability to make such a difference.”
The naming of the Rosenthal Department of Management was marked by a celebration honoring the Rosenthals on Jan. 16.
“Their gift will be a huge part of a transformation that will help us to stay on the cutting edge of change,” said McCombs Dean Lillian Mills. “So, when people see our work, they can truthfully say, ‘What starts here changes the world.’”