University of Texas Institutions Post Record Year for Gifts in 2007

EDINBURG – Spurred by a 34 percent increase in total giving, The University of Texas System today (Feb. 7) reported its best fund-raising year ever in Fiscal Year 2007. The announcement came during a regular meeting of the System’s Board of Regents.

Across all 15 campuses and its administrative offices, the UT System posted $760,947,868 in gifts for the year, third-highest in the nation among higher education institutions, according to the Council for Aid to Education.

Three UT System institutions – UT Austin (26th), UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (38th) and UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston (45th) – ranked among the nation’s top 50 institutions in gifts received. The institutions collectively accounted for 70 percent of total gifts received by the UT System in the fiscal year.

“Private gifts are now as essential to an institution’s effectiveness and quality as are funds received from appropriations, federal grants, tuition and fees and other income sources,” said Randa S. Safady, vice chancellor for external relations and the UT System’s chief development officer. “We are grateful to the hundreds of thousands of benefactors who continue to demonstrate confidence in UT institutions and their teaching, research and service missions.”

Among the largest was a pair of $50 million gifts – one to UT Southwestern Medical Center and the other to UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center – given by the T. Boone Pickens Foundation. A gift of $25 million was given to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio by the Greehey Family Foundation.

The overwhelming majority of private gifts are dedicated for specific purposes and cannot be used for any purposes other than what was intended by donors. Typically, most gifts fund academic programs, research, buildings, professorships and scholarships.

“It’s very gratifying to see that there is a growing cadre of individuals who are keenly aware of how transformational these gifts are to advancing the educational and healthcare missions of our institutions,” UT System Chancellor Mark G. Yudof said. “It not only speaks to the generous nature of these individuals but reflects a true concern for the future of our campuses and the students and communities they serve.” 

The dramatic increase in gifts came in a year in which alumni participation on a national scale experienced a decline (down to 11.9 percent). However, most UT System institutions – particularly those with strong alumni groups – demonstrated an improvement in the percentage of ex-student giving over the previous year.

Alumni giving is often considered among the most important metrics in evaluating institutional maturity, and foundations sometimes use it as a factor in awarding grants, Safady said.

About The University of Texas System
The UT System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $10.7 billion (FY 2008) including $2.3 billion in research funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 190,000 in the 2006 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 80,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.