McCombs School is “Investor-Ready”
This week I was honored to accept a combined gift of $6 million to Texas Venture Labs from Fort Worth businessman and entrepreneur Jon Brumley. I can’t imagine a more meaningful endorsement of our school’s strategic emphasis on innovation, creativity and business creation. To borrow the theme from this year’s Global Investment Competition, we are Investor-Ready.
$100 Million Milestone Reached
I’m pleased to announce we have raised more than $100 million in donations to the McCombs School in support of the Campaign for Texas. This university-wide campaign launched in September 2006 to build stronger resources across campus and further advance our mission of educating leaders that create value for society.
More than 15,000 individual donors participated, from whom we received many leadership gifts, as well as broad support from our large network of alumni and friends. Indeed, 37 percent of gifts were under $100, and 87 percent were under $1,000.
With these resources, we are making great strides in advancing the goals we laid out in our strategic plan. We will improve our undergraduate curriculum with the introduction of the new undergraduate real estate certificate. In the field of entrepreneurship, a naming gift has enabled the expansion of the soon-to-be Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs. The recently launched McCombs Scholars Program will allow us to provide the scholarships that will keep the brightest young minds at the McCombs School of Business.
These are just a few of the ways that giving supports our research centers, faculty endowments and student scholarships. The 15,181 Secrets to Our Success explains our accomplishments as a school.
This milestone is a testament to the diligence and creativity of our staff and faculty members who have established world-class programs at this school while offering opportunities for alumni to become engaged partners in our successful future. I thank each of you for your contributions to this effort.
Undergraduate Real Estate Goal Rapidly Pursued
We’ve raised $3.2 million toward our $4 million goal for the Undergraduate Real Estate Program, which seeks to create an official Real Estate Certificate at McCombs. The funds will support faculty members, guest lecturers and staff in opening this program to business and non-business majors. We have a very engaged committee of alumni and donors spearheading this initiative, which launched just last summer—amazing success in a short period.
Our Alumni Promote a New Turn
Earlier this year the Our Turn alumni participation campaign kicked off, in which I challenged our graduates to raise their giving participation rate from 5.2 percent last year to 10 percent by the end of 2014. We now have 106 Ambassadors—alumni who have stepped forward to give back, share their support of the school with others, and engage with our network of more than 87,000 alumni around the world.
Establishing a culture of giving back to the school begins as each graduate heads into the world, we hope with an appreciation for how the generosity of others has contributed to their success. Student giving campaigns are currently underway, with participation from 300 undergraduate students, 75 more than last year. More than 90 undergraduate students attended the donor appreciation lunch with Red McCombs last week. Students invited to the lunch have pledged to give to McCombs every year.
Meanwhile, the MBA Legacy campaign is set to outpace last year’s effort, with over one-third of the class signed up already, after only one week of the launch. That is how a legacy of giving begins.
Real Impact on Students and Academics
Our ability to fund scholarships and academic excellence impacts our reputation, the perceived value of our degree, and the actual value of the educational experience each of our students enjoys.
In 2011, Stanford University offered merit scholarships to 25 percent of their freshman class. The McCombs School awarded merit scholarships to only 2 percent. The school to which McCombs loses its best students more often than any other is…Stanford.
Half of the honors students who declined our offer of admission said Texas was their first choice, but our financial packages weren’t competitive. That’s good news. If we can raise the scholarships, we get the students.
McCombs Advisory Council member John L. Adams, BBA ’75, chairs the McCombs Scholars Initiative, which has raised one Forty Acres (full-ride) Scholarship, nine McCombs Presidential Scholarships, and 10 McCombs Dean’s Scholarships since February.
In Recognition of Our Team
I want to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of Jeff Melton and his team in Development and External Relations, who have artfully coordinated the many moving parts of our fundraising effort. They make me look good, which I always appreciate—but we all benefit when alumni, donors, and friends lend their support to our academic initiatives.
I was pleased to see their efforts to build our alumni network recently recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), with gold awards for the Knowledge To Go webinar series featuring top McCombs faculty members and alumni, and the alumni e-newsletter.