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what your investment in ut makes possible


july/aug 2014



We must always strive to be the very best at what we do. The University of Texas at Austin is creating a new vision of leadership in higher education through its teaching, research, and public service. We are positioned to become the best public research university in America. To earn that ranking we must continue to attract and retain superb faculty. We must educate students to be the next generation of leaders. We must also do cuttingedge research; it not only strengthens our impact on society — at the core of UT’s mission — but also has tremendous economic benefit to our great state.

When you give to President’s Associates, either annually or through a permanent endowment, your gifts support our best faculty and students and allow me to respond to opportunities that will further enhance UT. Together we will have a greater impact than any institution of our kind.

Bill Powers President

President’s Associates 866-488-3927

CHANGING THE WORLD What your investment in UT makes possible

CONTENTS NEARLY THERE You still have time to be part of the Campaign for Texas

STUDENTS GIVE BIG TO PROGRAMS THEY LOVE 40 Hours for the Forty Acres raises three times its goal

Cover: Battle Hall, the most architecturally significant

building on campus, is UT’s first purpose-built library and today houses the Architecture and Planning Library. Alumni and friends are being asked to help protect this campus jewel for a second century. CREDIT: Nathan Sheppard

Above: Utilizing social media, as well as a campus

event and the UTalk Call Center, the inaugural 40 Hours for the Forty Acres aimed to raise $40,000 for the university in 40 hours. The tally when the countdown ended: 2,104 donations totaling $128,516. CREDIT: Callie Richmond

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES Help preserve and enhance a witness to UT history

reprinted from july/aug 2014

CHANGING THE WORLD What your investment in UT makes possible


The historic, epic Campaign for Texas is closing in on $3 billion. Haven’t given yet? You still can.


or eight years , the

C ampaign


T exas

has been about people .

Students and professors. Achievers and thinkers. Everyone in Texas benefits from having a first-class university as the state’s flagship, and with each campaign gift made, more people have been able to realize

their potential—and to change the world wherever their ambitions take them.

Above: The Campaign for

Texas has advanced UT’s vision to be America’s No. 1 public research university. Opposite: Hundreds of students—and President Bill Powers—joined in the 40 for Forty festivities. CREDITS: From left, Marsha

Miller; Callie Richmond (2)

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Also, thanks to the continuing support of alumni and friends, a UT education remains one of the best values around, while the value of a UT degree has never been higher. Each of the university’s colleges, schools, and units, from Architecture to Undergraduate Studies, has had specific campaign priorities and funding goals. Some of those have been achieved ahead of schedule, while others are just now within reach. But wherever you look, from the increased opportunities for incoming students to the wide-open futures of all those skilled and

highly employable graduates entering the workforce, the campaign has brought about impressive progress. Donors have helped UT recruit and retain outstanding faculty, endowed hundreds of new scholarships and fellowships, and encouraged and supported innovative research in all disciplines. Gifts have elevated and expanded popular, national-model programs such as UTeach and funded enhancements across campus to facilitate today’s students’ increasingly collaborative and experiential learning process.



R Progress in any one of those areas helps the university in its quest to be the No. 1 public research university in the nation. The fact that significant advances have been made in all of them speaks to the extraordinary scale of the largest fundraising effort ever attempted in Texas—and the extraordinarily generous response from alumni and friends. There will always be more to do. The undergraduate experience has been transformed through a revamped core curriculum, first-year interest groups, and signature courses, but work remains on President Bill Powers’ goal to raise the four-year graduation rate. And while the founding of Dell Medical School is an exciting campaign milestone, it will be two more years before the school is up and running, and continued private support will be essential to its success. Beyond the medical school, fundraising continues for new engineering and graduate business education facilities, joining recently constructed buildings for computer science, liberal arts, and communication. The Campaign for Texas has made its physical mark on the Forty Acres, and it’s not done yet. Will Texas Exes members and other UT friends come together to push the campaign to its conclusion by Aug. 31? It’s going to be down to the wire. Watch your inbox for the latest updates, and if you haven’t contributed yet, consider making a quick gift at It’s not too late to be a part of this historic effort.



eaching a goal is a fine thing. Blowing right by it? Even better. In a sign that the UT community is as generous as it is passionate, students, alumni, and friends gave more than three times the fundraising goal of the inaugural 40 Hours for the Forty Acres. Utilizing social media, as well as a campus event and the UTalk Call Center, 40 for Forty aimed to raise $40,000 for the university in 40 hours. The tally when the countdown ended: 2,104 donations totaling $128,516. Organizers had hoped to attract at least 400 student donors; they got more than 900. Students, invited to donate any amount to a favorite program or cause, gave to their colleges and schools and to a variety of other programs, including Women in Engineering, Rio Grande Valley Scholars, UT Elementary School, the University Libraries, Texas Student Media, and Horns Helping Horns.

“UT is where I have had my most valuable experiences.” – Samira Chary Class of 2015

Samira Chary, a member of the Class of 2015 from San Antonio, donated to the School of Human Ecology. “UT is where I have had my most valuable experiences,” the nutrition major says. “I want the same opportunities to be available for future generations.”


The university relies on philanthropy to counter Texas’ ongoing decline in state support for higher education, and efforts like 40 for Forty help close the funding gap. Moreover, the participation of students and alumni in such giving campaigns can boost UT’s national rankings. “I designated my gift to the Spanish and Portuguese Department,” says Greg Peña, a finance/Hispanic studies senior from Brownsville. “I really value the department’s programs, and it’s a nice feeling knowing I’m helping them to continue.” Freshman Amanda Koif of Forney, an architectural engineering major, gave to the Friends of Alec program in the Cockrell School “to show my support for UT and allow the university to continue to provide the best faculty and resources for students.” Based on this first year’s numbers, it’s a safe bet that 40 Hours for the Forty Acres will be back next spring. But as for that $40,000 goal—how about another zero?


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CHANGING THE WORLD What your investment in UT makes possible

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES Laura Bush spearheads an effort to rehabilitate one of UT’s most important buildings and honor a Texas pioneer.


redating the

UT T ower by a quarter - century , B attle H all stands ,

stately and majestic, as a reminder of the university’s early commitment to creating a campus environment that inspires excellence. But after continuously serving untold thousands as a library and far more since

its 1911 debut, this redheaded beauty could use a helping hand.

Above: Battle Hall has been

a campus fixture since 1911. Named one of America’s favorite buildings, it has been called UT’s “first architectural masterpiece.” CREDITS: Clockwise from above: Nathan Sheppard; Marsha Miller; Nathan Sheppard; courtesy John S. Chase family.

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Cass Gilbert was one of the nation’s most celebrated architects, known for designing public spaces such as museums and state capitols, when UT leaders gave him carte blanche to build a new main library. Employing a Spanish-Mediterranean revival style that spoke to its Texas surroundings with deep, richly adorned eaves and thick limestone walls, Gilbert produced an instant landmark. The exterior would strongly influence the look of the campus for the next century and inspire generations of architects beyond the Forty Acres. Inside, vaulted halls draw you upstairs to the prize within: an expansive reading room, grand but not fussy, that has long been a favored study area for discerning students. University architecture professor David Heymann calls Battle UT’s “first architectural masterpiece.” His sentiment is reflected in the building’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places and its selection as one of America’s

Top 150 Favorite Works of Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. Today, Battle Hall (named in 1973 to honor William James Battle, UT’s sixth president) aptly houses the Architecture and Planning Library, the Center for American Architecture and Design, and faculty for the School of Architecture. Having been put to use over the years not only as a library and archive but also hosting dean’s and president’s offices, art studios, Board of Regents meetings—even the Longhorn Band—it’s fair to say that these various incarnations have taken a collective toll. “A rehabilitation of Battle Hall is long overdue,” says Architecture Dean Fritz Steiner. “This building, the way our students inhabit and learn from it, supports the school in an integral way, and we want it to continue as a resource for knowledge and inspiration. But like the archives and manuscripts it houses, it is fragile and requires our careful preservation.”

Such a big undertaking calls for a big-name spokesperson, so it is fitting that Distinguished Alumna Laura Bush, MLS ’73, has offered to chair a fundraising effort to address Battle’s preservation and improvements. Acknowledging the former first lady for her commitment to the project, Steiner notes that her enthusiasm stems from “a commitment to history, an appreciation for architecture, a devotion to Texas, a love of libraries, and a fondness for this university.” For her part, Bush says Battle Hall represents the coming together of several of her interests. “My dad was a builder, I’m a proud graduate of the Library School, and my home was designed by a School of Architecture faculty member. I’m thrilled to be involved and to help show the world how we value the history of this building and all that it means to us as Texans.” In addition to refurbishing Battle, an essential component of the project will renovate and expand the adjacent West Mall Office Building, which houses a materials lab and other School of Architecture facilities. When the campus post office, currently in the building’s lower southern end, relocates in 2016, a loading dock and nondescript parking area will make way for an attractive addition along Inner Campus Drive.

Let’s show the world how we value the history of this building and all that it means to us as Texans. – Laura Bush A proposed naming of this West Mall addition, which also will face the well-used pedestrian conduit between the building and Goldsmith Hall, would honor the late John S. Chase, MAr ’52, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus. Chase was the first African American to enroll at UT and the first African-American registered architect in Texas. “I am privileged to have known Mr. Chase,” Steiner says. “We very much valued his leadership and ongoing relationship with the School of Architecture. To build an addition in his name as part of this project would be very meaningful to me, to President Powers, and the entire campus community.” The total project cost is an estimated $70 million, half of which will be paid by university funds to cover health, fire, and safety renovations. The other half, it is hoped, will come from alumni and friends who wish to step up and help preserve and enhance this significant piece of Texan heritage. Learn more about the Battle Hall campaign and how to get involved at

Top: Laura Bush is helping Architecture Dean Fritz Steiner and Vice Provost and Director of UT Libraries Fred Heath to preserve and improve Battle Hall. Above: A planned addition to the

West Mall Office Building could be named for pioneering Texas architect John S. Chase. Right: Warm and grand yet unimposing, the Architecture and Planning Library Reading Room is a refuge for students of any major.

Changing the World is produced by the University Development Office. Please send your feedback and suggestions to editor Jamey Smith at For more news and information about giving to UT, visit

s e p t e m b e r | o c t o b e r 2011

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Changing the World (July–August 2014)  

What your investment in UT makes possible.

Changing the World (July–August 2014)  

What your investment in UT makes possible.