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MBA 1996 Party Kicks Off Class Fund to Support Rowling Hall

Photo of Kathleen and Lou MableyKathleen Mabley, MBA '96, has strong ties to The University of Texas at Austin. Well before her current role as director of brand marketing and creative services for the university, Mabley earned her MBA at the McCombs School of Business. The year they graduated, her class launched the Legacy Fund as a way to give back to the school and set up a program for future classes to give back, as well.

On April 26, Mabley and other class of 1996 MBA alumni threw a party to kick-off a class fundraising campaign that seeks to raise $100,000 and name one of the break-out rooms in the much-anticipated new McCombs building, Rowling Hall.

Mabley recently shared photos from the event and the story of her MBA class and its ongoing support for McCombs.

What prompted the launch of the Class of '96 MBA Alumni Endowed Excellence Fund? Who was involved?  
It helps to know that the MBA class of 1996 was a particularly close-knit group of classmates and friends, and I believe we boast the highest number of marriages between classmates. I not only met my husband here, but I made some amazing, life-long friends. When you are in school, there is a sense of "I'm giving all my money to pay for business school, why would I want to donate as well?" But there was also a sense of wanting to stay involved, invest in keeping the school highly ranked, and help students who came after us. Our class, led by Jason Watkins, started the fund to encourage students to continue to support the school that had such a big impact on our lives. I helped Jason back then, so when the opportunity of supporting the new building became available, I approached him about getting involved with this current campaign.
What is the goal of the current campaign?
The new MBA building — Rowling Hall — will take the McCombs MBA to a new level. Working at the university, I had the inside track to seeing some of the plans and hearing about the fundraising goals. I approached the development office and suggested that our class might be a good one to start a class-based giving program because we had a history of leading this kind of effort. Our goal is to raise $100,000 and name one of the break-out rooms in the new building.
How did the recent party tie in to the campaign?attendees at the 1996 MBA party for Rowling Hall
Jason Watkins, Ross and Stacie Cockrell, Merritt Alberti, and my husband Lou [Mabley] and I hosted a party at our home on April 26 to kick-off this class fundraising campaign. We heard from Associate Dean Eric Hirst and Assistant Dean Tina Mabley (Lou's sister), MBA '98, about the plans for the new building and future delivery of the MBA education. It was great to reconnect with old friends! Hearing about all their plans made us a little jealous of those future MBAs who will benefit from the building and the new ways of business education. We will be contacting classmates to ask them to join us in supporting the MBA '96 fundraising effort.

What impact do you hope news of your class commitment to Rowling Hall will have on McCombs students and fellow alumni?

We are hoping that the MBA Class of '96 fundraising effort is just the beginning, with many classes getting involved to support McCombs in a way that is meaningful for them.

Do you think your MBA Class could rally together to raise $100,000 for Rowling Hall? Yes? We think so, too!
We are looking for MBA Class Leads to reach out to their classmates to raise $100,000 to honor their graduating class by naming a space in Rowling Hall. The money raised will be designated toward the MBA Alumni Endowed Excellence Fund. The funds from this endowment will support and enhance MBA programs and initiatives and the maintenance of Rowling Hall.
If you are interested in being a Class Lead contact Dianne Bangle, Director of Development, at 512-475-8177 or


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