UTSA raises $180 million in first-ever capital campaign, exceeds goal by more than $60 million

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(Oct. 6, 2015) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has received gifts and pledges of $180 million dollars in its inaugural capital campaign, We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign, exceeding its original goal by more than $60 million. Launched in 2009, the capital campaign’s initial goal was $120 million to support student scholarships, faculty and research initiatives, campus activities and community outreach programs. In early 2013, the university surpassed that goal and, with two years left in the campaign, set and exceeded a new goal of $175 million.

UTSA President Ricardo Romo announced the conclusion of the capital campaign and its $180 million fundraising total at his annual State of the University address today, calling the accomplishment “a major milestone in our advancement toward Tier One designation.”

“When we started this campaign, we knew UTSA had momentum, but the groundswell of support that we received from the San Antonio community has far exceeded what we could have imagined,” said Romo. “San Antonio wants a Tier One university. It believes in UTSA. And it is committed to supporting our students, faculty and researchers so that excellence thrives at our university and in our city.”

Nearly 33,000 donors contributed almost 73,000 gifts to the campaign, which raised $62.6 million for student scholarships and fellowships, $43.8 million for faculty support, $19.1 million for UTSA research centers, institutes and outreach programs, and $50.1 million for student life and facilities enhancements. Another $4.5 million was raised for other university priorities including presidential scholarships.

“No other university in our region educates, influences and impacts more people than UTSA,” said Tom Frost, UTSA capital campaign chairman and chairman-emeritus of Frost. “The success of this campaign reflects San Antonio’s commitment to creating a world-class city backed by a world-class quality research university.”

UTSA began planning for its capital campaign in 2008, conducting feasibility studies and gaining support from community and business leaders. An initial $2.5 million gift from the Valero Energy Foundation supporting business and engineering students launched the campaign in 2009. A year later, UTSA received its largest private gift in the history of the university, a $22 million estate gift bequeathed by former schoolteacher Mary E. McKinney. The gift is supporting undergraduate scholarships in perpetuity.

In spring 2012, UTSA kicked off the public phase of its campaign with $94 million already raised toward its $120 million goal. In 2013, it reached $120 million and then increased the goal by $55 million. As the capital campaign concluded this fall, UTSA had received more than $180 million from its supporters.

“UTSA is making San Antonio a Tier One city. With the support we have received through the capital campaign, we are producing tomorrow’s business and community leaders. We are making breakthrough discoveries in science, engineering and cybersecurity,” said Marjie French, UTSA vice president for external relations and chief development officer. “We have more than 30,000 donors who, through their generosity, are making it possible for UTSA to transform the lives of students, faculty and researchers who are making meaningful contributions to society. We are so grateful for their support.”

Campaign Impact: Student Scholarships and Fellowships

UTSA raised more than $62 million for student support through We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign, creating hundreds of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships.

A number of the new scholarships are already supporting students from underrepresented populations. Nearly half (48.4 percent) of UTSA’s students are Hispanic. More than 45 percent (46.2 percent) will be the first in their families to earn a college degree. Seventy percent are eligible for financial aid. Many work full-time to support themselves and/or their families while they are in college.

The McKinney estate gift, received in 2010, was initially valued at $22 million and has grown to a value of more than $30 million today. So far, it has funded four-year undergraduate scholarships for 170 high achieving students, including Boyd Garriott '14, a UTSA alum who majored in economics and is now attending Harvard Law School. While at UTSA, Garriott was active in the Student Government Association and interned in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2011, a $500,000 gift from the Kudla Foundation created the Nancy and Frank Kudla Endowed Fellowship in Information Assurance and Security. College of Business alumni Frank Kudla '85 and Nancy Kudla '87 created the endowment to support graduate student research and education in cybersecurity. To date, the fund has supported four graduate students including Michelle Maasberg, a doctoral student conducting insider threat behavioral research. A former Navy helicopter pilot and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Maasberg is using the Dark Triad, a group of personality traits including narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, to help develop a model to identify workforce insiders. She has presented her research at a variety of top information technology conferences across the country.

Additionally, the $62 million that UTSA raised in this area enabled the creation of 70 new endowed scholarships and 32 new graduate fellowships.

Campaign Impact: Faculty Research, Recruitment and Support

Faculty members play a significant role in ensuring that excellence, creativity and innovation thrive at UTSA. We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign generated nearly $44 million in support for UTSA faculty including recruitment and retention. To date, the university has attracted new faculty members from Harvard, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Northwestern and other Tier One research institutions through its GoldStar Initiative supporting world-class faculty scholars and researchers.

In 2013, UTSA received a five-year, $5 million commitment from H-E-B to further support the recruitment of exceptional faculty. Private donors matched that gift dollar for dollar, doubling the impact of the H-E-B Faculty Research Excellence Fund for endowed professorships and chairs across UTSA’s nine colleges.

UTSA faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. George Perry, for example, is the Semmes Foundation Endowed Chair in Neurobiology, an endowed position funded by a $1 million gift from the Semmes Foundation and matched by the H-E-B Faculty Research Excellence Fund. Perry, who also serves as dean of the UTSA College of Sciences, is one of the world’s top-ranked Alzheimer’s disease researchers and is leading UTSA initiatives in brain health research.

Additionally, Carlos and Malú Alvarez made $2.35 million in campaign gifts to support graduate research fellowships. Their first gift, $1.35 million, was made in 2009. A $1 million challenge grant in 2013 matched, in part, an 80/20 Foundation gift to fund post-graduate fellowships and research assistantships to advance open cloud research and training at UTSA. Earlier this year, the university launched the UTSA Open Cloud Institute, an initiative to develop degree programs in cloud computing and big data and foster collaboration with industry, positioning UTSA and San Antonio as world leaders in open cloud technology.

Other initiatives supported by the $44 million fund include the creation of 41 new endowed faculty positions.

Campaign Impact: Serving Society

UTSA raised more than $19 million through We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign for programs and infrastructure to advance the university’s community engagement initiatives including its research centers and institutes.

A $100,000 grant from Chase to the UTSA Institute of Economic Development, for example, is supporting the UTSA Veterans Business Program. The program provides assistance to veterans who are returning to civilian life with the goal of starting their own businesses. UTSA is helping veterans with start-up, business planning, market research, financial planning, loan assistance, government contracting, sales and marketing, branding, website development and franchise ownership assistance.

Other community engagement initiatives supported through the $19 million fund include the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, the state’s annual science and engineering competition for youth, hosted by UTSA; the Prefreshman Engineering Program, a highly successful summer program that engages pre-college students in STEM-related disciplines through rigorous curricula, hands-on activities and career preparedness seminars; and the T.C. Frost Generating Educational Excellence in Mathematics and Science (GE2MS) program, which recruits and prepares science and math students to become educators.

Campaign Impact: Creating Enriching Experiences

Student life, facilities and equipment were given a $50 million boost through We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign. To enrich research experiences, a $1.2 million gift from the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation allowed UTSA to purchase one of the world’s most powerful microscopes. Dubbed “Helenita,” the transmission electron microscope, available to researchers around the globe, is a holy grail that allows nanotechnology researchers to see samples magnified 20 million times their original size. It is enabling impactful research in nanotechnology, biology, chemistry, geology, engineering and medicine. It has also boosted UTSA’s reputation in microscopy and attracted post-doctoral fellows from a variety of countries to UTSA.

One of UTSA’s initial gifts came from James Bodenstedt '96. The UTSA alumnus gave $1 million to kick-start the university’s then-fledgling football program, now in its fifth season of play.

Senior Mauricio Sanchez has benefitted from that generosity. Sanchez, a graduate of San Antonio’s Warren High School, was recruited to join UTSA’s football program when it was a start-up and received a scholarship, participating in the team’s first year of play. Sanchez says that without that scholarship, he likely would not have had the opportunity to play college football.

Gifts in this area totaled more than $28 million for UTSA athletics programs including a $1 million gift from Red and Charline McCombs. The gift kicked off fundraising to build practice facilities at the new UTSA Park West athletics complex near the intersection of Highway 1604 and Kyle Seale Parkway. Once completed, the complex will be home to all UTSA Athletics teams.

By the Numbers

Amount Raised

• Total raised: $180 million

• Student scholarships and fellowships: $62.6 million

• Faculty support: $43.8 million

• Research centers and institutes: $19.1 million

• Student life and facilities: $50.1 million

• Presidential priorities: $4.5 million

• Pre-campaign endowment market value: $57,116,011

• Post-campaign endowment market value: $122,893,897, up 115%

Donor Base

• Total number of donors: 32,940

• Total number of gifts: 72,821

• Average gift size: $3,208

• Funding given by non-UTSA alums: 87 percent

Alumni Participation

• Total number of UTSA alumni campaign donors: 17,251

• Alumni participation increase during campaign: 141 percent

• Average alumni gift size: $487

Campaign Increases 2009-2015

• Number of donors increased 160 percent (from 4,144 to 10,808)

• Gifts and pledges increased 159 percent (from 5,688 to 14,747)

• Prospects increased 140 percent (from 3,175 to 7,619)

Notable Campaign Successes

• 143 new campaign endowments including 70 endowed scholarships, 41 endowed faculty positions, and nine endowments providing 32 graduate fellowships

• 170 undergraduate scholarships to date through the McKinney gift

First Faculty Endowments

• Neurobiology

• Stem cells

• Cloud computing

• Bilingual studies

• Medicinal chemistry

• American literature

• Chemistry

• Applied math

• Mechanical engineering

• Hydrogeology

• Engineering design

• Entrepreneurship

• Real estate finance

Creation of New Research Programs

• Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio

• Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute

• UTSA Open Cloud Institute

• JEOL microscope, Helenita

• Endowed dean’s chairs in Business, Engineering, Liberal and Fine Arts, and Sciences


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