UTSA receives more than $5M in gift commitments to advance capital campaign

We Are UTSA

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(Dec. 18, 2013) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has received nearly $5.1 million in gift commitments this fall to support priority programs in the next phase of its capital campaign and the university's advancement to Tier One status. UTSA has now received more than $132 million in gifts and commitments in its first-ever capital campaign, We Are UTSA -- A Top-Tier Campaign.

Last May, UTSA President Ricardo Romo announced a new phase of the campaign after the university reached its initial financial objective of $120 million more than two years early. The university has now set a goal of raising a total of $175 million by August 2015, when the capital campaign concludes. Gifts received during this phase will primarily focus on four key areas: recruitment of top undergraduate students, support for graduate students, faculty research support and the construction of athletics facilities.

"The support we receive from the community creates opportunities for UTSA students to work side-by-side with world-class faculty and researchers starting early in their college careers," said Romo. "This collaboration is leading to the discovery of new knowledge and elevating UTSA to top-tier status. At the same time, it is advancing San Antonio's economic, business and scientific standing in the world."

The most recent commitments include:

  • A $1 million challenge gift from business leader Carlos Alvarez to support post-graduate studies and research through new endowed fellowship opportunities, primarily for Ph.D. candidates.

    "I am so pleased to see the progress UTSA has made during Dr. Romo's tenure, and that growth means great opportunities for San Antonio and the people here," said Alvarez. "I hope my gift will serve to inspire others to invest in UTSA, particularly supporting the graduate student research that will take the university to Tier One status, and I am very happy to see that the challenge gift has been fully matched."

    Alvarez previously provided a $2 million endowment to UTSA supporting Honors College student programs, scholarships for border county residents and scholarships through the ACE (Access College and Excel) initiative, which identifies and supports inner-city high school students once they enroll at UTSA;

  • A $100,000 commitment from Dr. Lisa G. Nungesser to support a graduate student fellowship in urban and regional planning, matched by the Alvarez gift;
  • A $1 million gift from the 80/20 Foundation, of which $900,000 is matched by the Alvarez gift. The funds will support nine post-graduate fellowships and research assistantships in open-cloud computing in the business, computer science and engineering disciplines. The other $100,000 gift will create one additional graduate fellowship separate from the Alvarez match.

    The 80/20 Foundation previously endowed four cloud technology professorships at $250,000 each;

  • A $1 million pledge from San Antonio real estate developer Dan Parman to create the Dan Parman Endowed Chair in Applied Mathematics.

    "Establishing an endowed chair in applied mathematics enhances UTSA's already excellent math department chaired by Dr. Sandy Norman, while giving the university another tool to educate outstanding students and become a center for major research," said Parman of his gift. "Mathematics is the foundation for all science, the language of all discourse and essential to daily life whether baking a cake or building a nuclear reactor."

  • A $996,000 commitment from the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation to support stem cell research by John McCarrey, director of the San Antonio Cellular Therapeutics Institute and the Kleberg Distinguished Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology at UTSA.

    "Stem cells and regenerative medicine offer a novel approach to the treatment of diseases and conditions that touch so many people, such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and heart disease. The Robert and Helen Kleberg Foundation is delighted to support Dr. McCarrey and his team of scientists as they advance their research toward outcomes that can benefit individuals and their families throughout the world," said foundation president Helen Groves.

    The Kleberg Foundation is a longtime supporter of the UTSA College of Sciences and has previously made gifts totaling more than $5 million to the university.

  • A $1 million gift from the Valero Foundation for the new athletics facilities at Park West, UTSA's sports complex. Once completed, the UTSA sports complex will offer competition and practice facilities for soccer, track and field, baseball and softball, as well as a practice facility for football.
  • "It is exciting to be a part of the growth at UTSA, and this donation fits in with the Valero Foundation's other efforts to help make San Antonio a better place to live and work," said Gary Simmons, Valero vice president-crude, feedstock supply and trading and a UTSA development board member. "The new facility will make a huge difference for the university's athletics program and will also be available to neighbors in the area, enhancing their quality of life."

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About UTSA
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.