Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech
Raise a billion dollars during a struggling economy?
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
“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
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
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
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
“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
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
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.”
Executive Chairman of Finisar Corp.
TTU alum ’67, Mechanical Engineering
Chairman of the Board, General Motors Co.
TTU alum ’64, Industrial Engineering