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at texas November/December 2010

From Dreams to Plans The College of Liberal Arts prepares to break ground on its new home

Everyone can be a philanthropist

Nicole Murry with Stephanie and Wayne Wagner in the UT School of Nursing.

Hearing from 40 future nurses can change a person’s perspective. It all began when Wayne Wagner went to watch his little sister graduate from UT Austin’s School of Nursing. Wagner, a financial executive, saw something special that night. For his sister and her classmates, launching their careers had nothing to do with making money. It was something bigger than that. “I was just blown away,” he said. “It was so refreshing to have every one of those 40 get up there and talk about how they just wanted to change the world.” The San Antonio resident knew he had to give to the School of Nursing. He created a scholarship named for his sister, Nicole Murry, and it became her graduation present. When it comes to giving, Wagner knows that not everyone can be a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett. He isn’t. But he knows there are many ways to make a gift without writing a check today. At his age, 41, life insurance is still very affordable. After his lifetime, the University will receive the proceeds of his policy. You can be a philanthropist, too. Contact our Gift Planning team to find out how you can ensure your family’s future and still support the University you love.

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Costume designer Walter Plunkett with one of his creations for Gone With The Wind. The Harry Ransom Center, with funding from hundreds of individual gifts, is restoring some of the film’s iconic dresses.

call to duty Gift for new Liberal Arts building is a $15 million salute to ROTC horns of plenty What private giving is making possible

Reprinted from

November/December 2010

gift planning 101 Are you prepared for the return of the federal estate tax?


Philanthropy at Texas

By Gary Susswein

CALL T★ DUTY GIFT FOR NEW LIBERAL ARTS BUILDING IS A $15 MILLION SALUTE TO ROTC More than four decades ago The University of Texas at Austin and its Naval ROTC program gave James Mulva the education, discipline, and support that would help shape his future. Now Mulva, BBA ’68, MBA ’69, Life Member, is giving back, helping to shape the future of the University, the College of Liberal Arts, and, in particular, the ROTC. ¶ Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips, and his wife, Miriam, have donated $15 million to the College of Liberal Arts toward construction of its new building on the East Mall. The six-story structure will have an entire floor for the University’s Naval, Army, and Air Force ROTC units, which are part of the college. “We’ve been looking for the right project so we could, in a more significant way, help support The University of Texas and its commitment to education and research,” says Mulva, who was named a Distinguished Alumnus five years ago and whose previous philanthropy includes gifts to the Red McCombs School of Business and Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Mulva says he was motivated by his own experiences as a student. “I went through ROTC — that’s the only way I could attend UT — so I really want to support ROTC students,” he says. “For these young men and women, it’s not about making money. It’s all about service to the country. They’re very dedicated and bright students.” After earning his degrees the Wisconsin native served four years in the Navy, much of that time in the Middle East. While there he developed an interest in oil and energy that helped him launch a four-decade career in that field.

President Bill Powers, who first met Mulva 40 years ago when the two were Naval officers stationed in Bahrain, announced the gift in September. “Jim and Miriam Mulva’s gift demonstrates a deep commitment to The University of Texas at Austin and to ROTC,” he says. “Through their generosity ROTC will remain at the heart of campus for generations to come.” The new building will include 30 modern classrooms, student study areas and meeting rooms, and laboratories and offices for faculty. For the first time it will give Liberal Arts students a space of their own and create an environment in which faculty from different disciplines can collaborate more easily. “The Mulvas’ generosity makes our longtime dream a reality,” says Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “This building will help propel us to greatness by giving us the space we need to teach our students, nurture outstanding research, and foster a vibrant intellectual community.”

renderings courtesy Overland Partners Architects

It will be built on the site of Russell A. Steindam Hall, the razing of which began this fall. Steindam Hall had been ROTC’s home for more than 50 years and was named for a graduate who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam. Like Steindam Hall, the new building will have customized classrooms to meet the needs of all three ROTC programs as they train future military leaders. “It looks first rate,” says Capt. Dan Dixon, commanding officer of Naval ROTC. “It will optimize the training our midshipmen receive and ensure they’re ready to lead our sailors and Marines.” Dixon says about half of all U.S. Naval officers are trained in ROTC programs at universities throughout the country. “Our alumni are extremely supportive and passionate about the training of our ROTC students, and Mr. Mulva’s gift reflects that.” Over the past year college leaders have been able to reduce the overall cost of the building from more than $100 million to about $96 million. When finished in 2013 it will house anthropology, sociology, geography, linguistics, Plan II, and Liberal Arts Honors, among other departments and programs. “The space needs for disciplines like anthropology have really changed,” says anthropology chair Sam Wilson, who heads UT’s Faculty Building Advisory Committee and also serves on the advisory committee for the new building.

“We need more lab space and more collaborative work space if we are going to do world-class research and attract the best students. This building will be very versatile. It’s going to serve the campus for at least 100 years in ways we can’t even imagine.” Students will feel the impact immediately, says Carl Thorne-Thomsen, economics senior and president of the Liberal Arts Council, the voice of the college’s undergraduates. “Getting students from so many majors in a single place is going to be amazing. It’s going to be a hub for ideas.” In addition to his 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Mulva received a similarly prestigious honor from the UT NROTC and Midshipman’s Foundation. He also has been inducted into the McCombs School’s Hall of Fame. Miriam Mulva, a graduate of St. Norbert College in Wisconsin and a former teacher, is active in education and arts organizations. The Mulvas have two sons, including one who is on faculty in the Cockrell School of Engineering. “This is a time when ROTC is in need of new facilities on campus,” Mulva says. “For us it’s important, almost an obligation, that we give back to those institutions that have been important to us in our development. That includes ROTC. That includes The University of Texas at Austin.”

“For these young men and women, it’s not about making money. It’s all about service to the country.” – james mulva

Learn more about the new Liberal Arts building at cola/public-affairs/building.

left: When finished in 2013, the College of Liberal Arts’ new building will sit on the East Mall, near Gregory Gym. “It’s going to serve the campus for at least 100 years in ways we can’t even imagine,” says anthropology chair Sam Wilson. center: James & Miriam Mulva. right: A conceptual look at the interior. The six-story building will have classrooms, student areas, laboratories, and faculty offices. The ROTC will have an entire floor.

The Alcalde November/December 2010


Philanthropy at Texas

Horns of Plenty What private giving is making possible

make it through the University. So did Darrell Rocha. Now Johnson, BJ ’95, Life Member, has found a way to express her appreciation for both — by endowing a scholarship honoring the mentor who helped her succeed. “From the very beginning Darrell was there,” she says. “He’s like a second dad to me.” As assistant dean of student affairs in the College of Communication, Rocha, BA ’81, Life Member, is known for keeping his door open — and his office stocked with treats. He coaches students in the life skills they’ll need beyond college, even arranging informal sessions on subjects such as etiquette. Before Johnson came to UT, no one in her family had gone to college. Her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school, but scholarships made it possible. Today she lives in San Francisco and manages an online support team for Google. And the Darrell D. Rocha Scholarship in Communication is helping other first-generation students from underprivileged backgrounds to make their own mark — just as Johnson has. –Angela Curtis

Communication’s Darrell Rocha is a favorite among students.

Chelsea Adler worked in Ghana with other UT students to help with programs in nutrition, pregnancy, and health care.

In this season of giving thanks it’s worth

noting that UT students are some of the most generous and charitable in the country. They do the University proud by volunteering with nonprofits on campus, throughout Austin, and beyond. And even on a student’s budget some are able to give monetarily to things they care about on campus. Students Hooked on Texas, which educates students on the importance of philanthropy to the University’s success, has rolled out a new initiative this year that may become another campus custom: Thanks Day is an opportunity to say a simple “thank you” to individuals who support UT. Student organizations are hosting a day of activities before the Thanksgiving holidays and will encourage all students to take the time to thank alumni, faculty and staff, family members, and anyone else who has helped them along their path to a higher education. With so many people deserving of thanks, not everyone will get a personal message on Thanks Day. But student leaders like Scott Parks, Student Government president, and Chelsea Adler, president of the Senate of College Councils, are happy to speak on behalf of their classmates. “It’s so important that we acknowledge the support we receive from alumni, donors, parents, and taxpayers,” Adler says. “Without it, UT cannot come close to fulfilling its mission.” Parks directs his gratitude to everyone who demonstrates an “undying commitment to making the University the best it can be.”

Dress photos courtesy Harry Ransom Center

Scholarships helped Katina Johnson

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind. Leigh’s burgundy ball gown, seen here and below, is one of five dresses the Ransom Center is restoring with the help of donor contributions.

People really do give a damn,

at least when it comes to Gone with the Wind. When the Harry Ransom Center put out the word in August that it needed to raise $30,000 to preserve five original costumes from the classic 1939 film, nearly 700 individuals from 44 states and 13 countries answered the call. The costumes are part of the Ransom Center’s David O. Selznick film collection. Actress Vivien Leigh, in the role of Scarlett O’Hara, wore all of them on screen, including the iconic curtain dress that stands out in fans’ memory. For many, giving to the cause was a way to show their love for a beloved piece of Americana. “How wonderful!” says donor Melissa Wynne of West Nyack, N.Y. “How could anyone think we would leave our Scarlett alone in her time of need?” The donations mean that the costumes can receive expert conservation treatment that will include specially designed protective housing and custom-fitted mannequins for proper exhibition. Look for their triumphant return in a 2014 exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary of the release of Gone with the Wind. Learn how to support the exhibition, as well as other Ransom initiatives, at

“Philanthropy at Texas” is compiled and edited by Jamey Smith in the University Development Office. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome at For more philanthropic news and information, including ways you can give to UT, visit


Federal Estate Tax Set to Come Roaring Back in 2011 The federal estate tax comes roaring back — and at levels not seen for a decade — on January 1, 2011, unless Congress changes the law. This is a good time to review your estate planning documents with your professional adviser to be sure that your current estate plan reflects how much estate tax you are willing to pay. Most of us have felt the desire to make a difference, to give back to an institution or organization that has changed our lives for the better. At the same time we’re concerned with providing for our loved ones after we’re gone. What if you could do both? UT Austin’s Gift Planning team can show you how. You can reduce or eliminate gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes by including the University in your estate planning. Instead of the money going to the IRS it can make a difference supporting something you’re passionate about at UT. With thoughtful planning, charitable giving will not reduce the amount your heirs will receive. In some cases it can even increase the amount of an inheritance. There are many ways to make testamentary charitable gifts, including: provisions in wills or testamentary trusts; provisions in revocable or “living” trusts; beneficiary designations for retirement plans, insurance policies, group term insurance plans, bank accounts, and brokerage accounts; gifts that provide lifetime income to one or more survivors and then benefit the University; and gifts that return assets to survivors after benefiting the University for a number of years. For detailed information about these giving options, read the online brochure Doing Well While Doing Good: Estate Planning and Smart Giving to UT Austin at Only you and your tax adviser can help decide what is best for you. The UT Austin Gift Planning team is ready to work with you and your advisers in confidence and without obligation. To learn more, call UT’s Gift Planning team at 512-475-9671 or toll-free 866-4UTEXAS (488-3927), e-mail, or visit giving.

The Alcalde November/December 2010

Philanthropy at Texas (November-December 2010)  
Philanthropy at Texas (November-December 2010)  

The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to bring you Philanthropy at Texas, a newsletter to let alumni and friends know what private gi...