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Historic Funding Milestone Reached, One Donor at a Time

McCombs Capital Campaign Goal Surpassed at $280 MillionThis week, The University of Texas at Austin celebrates having surpassed a $3 billion Campaign for Texas fundraising goal, the largest single university capital campaign the State of Texas has ever seen.

The McCombs School of Business played a vital role in this eight-year institutional effort, seeking to raise $225 million during the campaign. Substantial donations rolled in during the campaign's final months, enabling the McCombs community to raise a total of nearly $280 million, $55 million beyond the school's initial goal.

Alumni, students, faculty, staff, corporate partners, and other supporters stepped forward with enthusiasm, despite the fact that the campaign launched during an economic downturn. 

"There is much yet to do as we continue to quicken our pace, but not before we first pause and give thanks for the generosity, foresight, and loyalty shown by literally thousands of graduates and supporters in helping reach this significant moment," says Dean Thomas W. Gilligan.

Large gifts received over the years may have captured the headlines, but equally important was the wave of support that followed such signature gifts — growing in increments of ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands of dollars — making McCombs the largest single community of alumni givers across The University of Texas at Austin. 

Dozens of gifts and pledges were made on the day the school passed its fundraising mark, ranging from $2 to $100,000. Each gift represents a supporter who wants to be a part of the world-changing vision at McCombs. Here are three representative donors who contributed on the day McCombs reached its goal:

Ken Bouyer, Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting, EY

Ernst & Young Foundation: $30,000 

Represented by Ken Bouyer, Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting, EY

This EY commitment made it possible to host the summertime Discover Yourself in Accounting Majors and Careers (DYNAMC) program. Thanks to EY's ongoing support, McCombs has hosted DYNAMC for approximately 15 years. Through their university grants program, EY partners with the school to attract and retain a diverse student population while providing a foundation and network to help ensure college success for underrepresented accounting students.

Robert N. Freeman, professor of accounting, McCombs SchoolRobert N. Freeman, professor of Accounting: $250

Professor Robert Freeman researches and teaches about capital markets and financial reporting, and he clearly understands the value of supporting business education. "I was fortunate to receive several scholarships when I was a UT student," Freeman recalls. "This is a way of returning the financial support alumni extended to me over 30 years ago."



Charles Holley, executive vice president and CFO, WalmartCharles Holley, executive vice president and CFO, Walmart: $100,000 

Charles Holley, BBA '79, who recently gave the MSTC commencement address, credits his business education as the foundation of his career success at Walmart. "Every day I appreciate the education I received at McCombs," he says. "It's important for me to give back to the institution that gave me so much."


Diverse Donors Are Supporting Broad Initiatives

William Cunningham and Dean Thomas GilligamOne of the final gifts of the campaign was an endowment from William Cunningham (pictured at right with Dean Gilligan in the school's Hall of Honors), who has served as dean of the school, president of UT Austin, and chancellor of the UT System. Professor Cunningham, who now teaches marketing at the school, announced his intention to fund a $1 million chair to support data analytics studies in marketing.

"Professor Cunningham's generous gift demonstrates his insight regarding the importance of data analytics in the marketing world," says Wayner Hoyer, chair of the marketing department. "Our capacity to recruit faculty and educate students in this vital industry sector has taken a leap forward."

Cunningham's endorsement of business education, targeted to an area of future growth and personal interest, is representative of the diverse motivations that encourage individual donors to generously contribute to the school's priorities. Their ongoing support will fund scholarship growth, research and teaching endowments, facility improvements, expansion of student services, and countless other strategic initiatives in the years ahead. 

Thanks to the contributions of a robust and engaged community, it’s been a stellar year for business education at Texas. 

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