Generous Gift from Zlotnik Family Maintains Rowling Hall Momentum
Plans for Robert B. Rowling Hall, the new graduate education building at the McCombs School of Business, continue to flourish with the welcome announcement of a new gift from Bob and Marcie Zlotnik. The Zlotniks, University of Texas at Austin business alumni and founders of Houston energy company StarTex Power, have pledged $5 million toward the building's construction.
"Rowling Hall is going to make this university an even stronger, more vibrant place to learn," Bob Zlotnik, BBA '75, MBA '80, said in a press release announcing the gift. "We have waited for the opportunity to align our family with this project, which will provide a direct link among students, faculty members, and business leaders."
The Zlotniks' decision to donate such a substantial gift to McCombs was made as a family. Marcie and Bob have three sons: Kevin, MBA '15; Mitchell, a senior in the BBA program; and Matthew, a high school junior.
"Teaching all our boys about giving back and getting involved is paramount to their success as future leaders," Marcie Zlotnik, BBA '83, said in the press release.
"Philanthropy can be an emotional decision for some, and for others it is seeing a transformative project like Rowling Hall take shape that inspires them to get involved and give back. Either way, it is wonderful to see our alumni invest in such an important expansion of the McCombs School of Business facilities," says Jeff Melton, McCombs executive director for development.
In recognition of their gift, the ballroom in Rowling Hall will be named the Zlotnik Family Ballroom, and it will connect the graduate education building to the neighboring AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. The Zlotnik Family Ballroom will be shared by both buildings, giving each the ability to host large capacity events and conferences as both Austin and UT continue to grow.
The $5 million gift from the Zlotniks is a major achievement and builds on the momentum made after Dallas businessman Robert B. Rowling and his wife Terry Hennersdorf Rowling – also UT Austin business alumni – launched the campaign to fund construction of a new business school by pledging $25 million last March.
"Fundraising for this ambitious project has reached the next level as people continue to come forward with generous gifts to support the plans for Rowling Hall," McCombs Dean Thomas Gilligan said in the press release. "We look forward to the weeks ahead as more gifts are announced."
The Zlotniks' gift also comes on the heels of last month's announcement that the Mulva Family Foundation has made a $40 million multiyear pledge to fund the renovation of the Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration buildings. These will be collectively renamed the James J. and Miriam B. Mulva Hall and, together with Rowling Hall, will transform business education at UT Austin.
The Zlotniks have previously donated $1 million to McCombs to establish a chair in entrepreneurship. Bob Zlotnik serves on the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council and has been appointed as chair of the council starting in November. Marcie Zlotnik serves on the UT Austin Development Board.