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UTSA launches $500 million campaign to advance student success, research excellence, strategic growth

UTSA launches $500 million campaign to advance student success, research excellence, strategic growth

DECEMBER 20, 2022 — Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 7, 2022.

The University of Texas at San Antonio today launched the public phase of Be Bold: A Campaign for Our Future, a $500 million fundraising campaign to support UTSA’s growth as a model for student success, a great public research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence.

The capital campaign, first conceived in 2017, has been in what is traditionally known as the ‘quiet phase’ and has already raised $311 million in gifts and pledges. University leaders have prioritized fundraising areas to support UTSA’s transformative vision. These focus areas include student scholarships, graduate fellowships, endowed academic positions, special programs and capital projects across the university’s network of campuses.

Increased funds for student scholarships, graduate fellowships and endowed faculty positions are crucial to recruiting and retaining some of the most talented minds at UTSA. The university currently boasts 555 endowments to support students, innovative research and impactful programming. Nearly two-thirds of these endowments, almost 350, support undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving students and students in need.

UTSA also has nearly 20 endowed graduate fellowships, more than 80 endowed faculty positions and more than 100 program endowments. These funds are paving the way for UTSA to offer education and research programs of the highest quality, the hallmarks of a Tier One research university.

“Institutions like UTSA are the cornerstone of world-class cities. They drive social mobility and economic prosperity, educate the leaders of tomorrow, and discover new knowledge to address society’s greatest challenges,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “This comprehensive campaign, the largest in the history of the university, will create new opportunities, expand strategic partnerships, and improve our campus infrastructure to benefit all our students and faculty. Simply put, this campaign will change lives by building a university of the future right here in San Antonio.”

Since the start of the Be Bold effort, more than 39,446 supporters from 19 countries and all 50 states have made 116,000 gifts and pledges of all sizes to support UTSA. In 2021 alone, the university received three transformational gifts.

Carlos and Malú Alvarez committed a $20 million gift to the UTSA College of Business, drawn by UTSA’s high-caliber students and the couple’s desire to give back to San Antonio, where Carlos Alvarez built his business. The gift from the Alvarez family, the first of its kind in the university’s history, is advancing research-enhancing activities. It is supporting the creation of endowed faculty positions, graduate research fellowships and undergraduate research programs. The gift led to the naming of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, the first named college in UTSA’s history and the first business college in The University of Texas System to be named after a Latino.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott made a $40 million gift to support UTSA students in need, drawn by the university’s strong commitment to create pathways to success for first-generation college students and students from low-income families. UTSA has allocated this transformational gift to its Bold Promise program, which was established in 2019 to provide high-achieving Texans from low and middle-income families with 100% of their tuition and fees for up to four years. To date, the program has served 2,368 students.

Former Valero CEO and Chairman of the Board Bill Klesse and his wife, Margie, made a $20 million commitment to the university’s College of Engineering and Integrated Design, drawn by the opportunity to create pathways for women and students of color to enter the STEM fields. Their generosity is supporting student scholarships, faculty support initiatives and student success programs. In recognition of the gift, UTSA named the college the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design.

During the initial phase of the Be Bold campaign, UTSA has also secured gifts and pledges from:

  • Graham Weston, who is serving as a Be Bold Campaign Leadership Council co-chair and has donated $15 million toward the creation of the School of Data Science in San Antonio’s downtown technology corridor;

  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which awarded UTSA researchers a $5 million grant to support the university in strengthening community partnerships in advancing racial justice;

  • Harvey E. Najim, who committed $3 million to establish the Harvey E. Najim Innovation and Career Advancement Center, enabling UTSA students to receive unique hands-on learning opportunities;

  • USAA, which contributed $1 million to provide 100 Bold Promise scholarships to UTSA students, following a $100,000 contribution in emergency funds for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; and

  • Dell Technologies, which awarded UTSA a technology grant to support advanced technologies and a new research infrastructure platform at the university.

Be Bold has also inspired multimillion-dollar gifts to transform San Antonio into a destination for the nation’s most competitive Division I student-athletes. Through Bold Champions, a $70 million fundraising effort within the Be Bold campaign, UTSA Athletics has received $35.5 million in gifts and pledges from 6,629 donors in seven countries and 48 states. These commitments include a $5 million pledge from James H. and DeAnna Bodenstedt to support the Roadrunner Athletic Center for Excellence. The $41.5 million, state-of-the-art athletic facility is supporting the health and wellness of UTSA student-athletes.

Bold Champions is already providing support to UTSA student-athletes and several capital projects outlined in UTSA Athletics’ Master Plan.

“The future of San Antonio is greatly dependent on how UTSA will evolve in the coming decade,” said Sam Dawson, chair of the Campaign Leadership Council. “I envision UTSA becoming a model research university that attracts the most talented students and faculty from around the world, and I envision an unparalleled economic engine that drives innovation and entrepreneurship. It is essential that our community supports this important effort.”

Over the last 53 years, UTSA has aspired to deliver an education of excellence to the San Antonio community. As it looks forward to its next chapter, guided by its strategic plan—A Vision for UTSA—the university aspires to enroll 45,000 students, employ 2,000 faculty members and expand its campus footprint by 5.3 million square feet. The Be Bold campaign will propel the university toward these goals. 

“UTSA is a young institution with a phenomenal future. It is providing students with affordable access to an education of the highest quality, and it is advancing pioneering research programs in human health, national security and other critical disciplines,” said Karl Miller-Lugo, UTSA vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “The Be Bold campaign has the potential to accelerate UTSA’s growth and exponentially broaden the university’s impact in the coming decades. I invite our alumni, our partners and our friends to join us in this exciting campaign.”

Jennilee Garza and Christi Fish

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.

UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.



University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA 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.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.