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Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech

Raise a billion dollars during a struggling economy?

Absolutely.

Because there is no better time than now to make Texas Tech the best it can be.

Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech is a billion-dollar campaign that will ensure a brighter future for the TTU System universities and the men and women they are educating to be the nation’s next leaders.  At the Sept. 17 launch, Texas Tech was already 60 percent of the way to its billion-dollar goal.

“This is an historic undertaking for the Texas Tech System,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “I don’t deny we’ll have to work harder to raise money, but our alumni and friends love Texas Tech and have stepped up to help.”

So have corporations, foundations and a myriad of people whose gifts range from $25 to multimillions.

For many donors, there is no direct tie to Texas Tech. Paul Foster’s desire to make his community a better place to live and work motivated him to give the largest single gift in the TTU System’s history. His $50 million fully endowed TTUHSC’s new four-year medical school at El Paso. 

Likewise, through a bequest, Coralee McDaniel honored the work of her husband, Robert R. McDaniel, M.D., establishing in 1989 a scholarship to help future physicians pay for medical school. According to family friends, the good doctor had a conviction that “young people should go to college and make something of themselves and stay in Texas.”

Samir Shahani is trying to do just that. The third-year medical student is pursuing a dual medical and business degree through the School of Medicine’s M.D./M.B.A. program. (You can read more about Shahani and the scholarship in the Winter 2010 issue of Pulse.) His school is paid in part through the Robert R. McDaniel, M.D., Endowed Scholarship.

“The scholarship allowed me to accept the M.D./M.B.A. program’s offer without much financial hesitation,” said Shahani. “Both economics and medicine share a similar goal of maximizing welfare of its participants. By integrating economics and business into the health care industry I can practically live both of my passions.

“Also the scholarship allowed me to consider moving from Lubbock to El Paso for my clinical experiences. This transition has opened my eyes culturally and educationally. From extremely rare clinical cases to the opportunity to learn more conversational Spanish, I am extremely fortunate to be able to experience this part of our school system.”

Endowing scholarships provides opportunities for students like Shahani and thousands of others to get exceptional educations. Likewise, endowing chairs and professorships allows a university to attract top faculty members to enhance the quality of teaching and research.

“Endowments support talented scientists, artists and scholars who lend considerable prestige to the institution,” said Hance, who encourages donors to endow professorships and/or scholarships. He’s taken his own advice and established the Hance Professorship in Entrepreneurship. “Endowed chairs and professorships attract scholars of national and international stature. They in turn often bring large amounts of funded research to our campus and give our students the opportunity to learn from some of the best in their fields.”

Texas Tech has been an exceptionally good steward of the money in its endowment. Even in the last couple of years, when the market fell and many institutions and people lost money, Texas Tech managed to buck the trend. 

Since Hance signed on as chancellor in 2006, the TTU System has reported more than $100 million in funds raised every year and wise, conservative investing has led to endowment growth. Texas Tech’s endowment in 2009, the last year for which numbers are available, ranked 84th in the country, a mark increase from its 118th ranking in 2007, out of the 842 institutions reporting to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

“That is an enormous milestone for Texas Tech,” said Hance. “We are ranked above the University of Tennessee, Syracuse, the University of Arkansas, Miami, Houston, Oklahoma State, Florida State – it’s a long list of major universities that we beat in that ranking. And I can tell you we could not have raised more than $100 million dollars each of the last four years without the leadership of Dr. Overley and what I think is the best development staff in the country.”

Overley credits the Investment Advisory Committee, led by Gary Ratliff, the TTU System’s investment officer, and Carin Barth, former member of the TTU System Board of Regents and chairman of foundation’s investment advisory committee.

“Their expertise and ability to make strategic investments in both the good and bad economic times has been phenomenal,” said Overley. “Because of their wisdom, people are more comfortable giving us money because they know how well we’ll take care of their investment.”

That sits well with Hance given that he’s also on the donor list, generously contributing to Texas Tech more than he makes in salary. He will get a bit emotional when he talks about what Texas Tech has meant to him and his family. “Texas Tech opened a lot of doors for me. I had professors who inspired me. I learned how to set and achieve my goals.”

That’s why he also has his sights set on scholarship money. “When I went to Texas Tech tuition was $50 per semester; that’s changed. I want to make sure we have the scholarships available not only to attract National Merit Scholar type of students, but also those kids who are A and B students but may not qualify for top merit scholarships and may not meet the requirements of need-based funds. These young men and women often go on to do great things in their careers. We have to be able to help them afford a higher education.”

CO-CHAIR INFO:

Jerry Rawls
Executive Chairman of Finisar Corp.
TTU alum ’67, Mechanical Engineering

Ed Whitacre
Chairman of the Board, General Motors Co.
TTU alum ’64, Industrial Engineering

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