The University of Texas has reached a major fundraising milestone. On Tuesday, officials from UT Austin stated that the Campaign for Texas, which started in 2006 and ended on August 31, exceeded its $3 billion goal. In total, the campaign raised $3.1 billion in gifts.
In the past year alone, the university brought in $856 million, which is a new single-year record for higher education fundraising in the state. That amount beats out the previous record of $740 million that was raised the year before by Texas A&M University.
In an open letter emailed to UT alumni, President Bill Powers thanked both generous donors and those who helmed the campaign.
“My heart is filled with thanks for every member of the Longhorn family — individuals, foundations, associations and corporations — who helped us. Especially, I thank three devoted alumni — Kenny Jastrow, who chaired the campaign, and Charles Tate and Libba Massey, who served as its co-vice-chairs. These three and thousands of others made the campaign a success.”
The Campaign for Texas was publicly unveiled in October of 2008 (the previous two years were used to build momentum). At that point, it faced a tough challenge. “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,” said Kenny Jastrow in a statement.
More than 270,000 donors contributed to the campaign, and the Texas Tribune reports that more than 400 gifts were more than $1 million. The Campaign for Texas offers a more thorough breakdown of the donations and how they will be utilized on the University of Texas website.
$2 billion will support research and programs at the university. Two of the biggest gifts — $50 million from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and $50 million from the Livestrong Foundation — will establish the Dell Medical School and the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, respectively.
The last year has been very contentious for Powers, who submitted his resignation in July; his fundraising milestone is certainly a high note for his final year leading the University of Texas.