On Friday, March 4, The University of Texas at Austin publicly launched the What Starts Here campaign – the most ambitious fundraising effort in university history – with the goal of raising $6 billion. As part of the campaign, the School of Architecture has its own $30 million goal, of which over $19 million has been raised in gifts and pledges to date.
For more than a century, The School of Architecture has influenced the built environment and has shaped cities in Texas and around the world. As we look to the next 100 years and address the complexities of unprecedented urbanization, climate change, and global health challenges, our work in the disciplines of the built environment will be key in providing solutions. These solutions will call for adaptable buildings, sustainable cities, and resilient landscapes; they’ll encourage economic opportunity and the flourishment of culture; and they will ultimately build a healthier and better world.
With the generous and strategic support of the School of Architecture’s alumni, friends, and supporters, we can achieve this vision and build a better future for Texas and beyond. As part of this effort, we are raising funds to:
Attract the most talented young minds from all communities and every part of society to our school and to our disciplines. And, once they’ve enrolled, provide them with equal access to all of the school’s resources through scholarships, graduate fellowships, as well as access to technology, life-changing experiences, career opportunities, and professional development.
Recruit, retain, and support outstanding faculty who will help prepare our students to become the next generation of leaders in design and planning. A diverse and multidisciplinary faculty serve as the intellectual foundation of our school, and their scholarship and research are vital to the continual evolution of the canon of architectural and planning education and to address a constantly changing world.
Elevate our research expertise through the Center for Sustainable Development, which has grown in recent years to millions of dollars in funding from public, private, and nonprofit sources. Not only does this enable us to contribute our expertise on matters that have an immediate and long-term effect on the transformation of cities and regions, but it also opens up a suite of experiential, hands-on learning opportunities for students.
Update our facilities and invest in technology to transform teaching and learning for the 21st century.
Already, the school has secured $19 million in gifts to achieve these goals, including the establishment of 24 new endowments which provide a reliable and steady stream of income to support the school on an ongoing basis. A few highlights include the establishment of:
To celebrate the campaign kick-off, the school hosted an intimate gathering of supporters and members of the Advisory Council for a reception and panel discussion with members of our faculty and student leaders on Friday, March 4. Panelists included: Professor Larry Speck in conversation with Bachelor of Architecture student Temi Osanyintolu and Master of Architecture student Stefan Brits; Associate Professor Miriam Solis with Community & Regional Planning student Bianca Pizarro; and Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Design Program Dean Almy in conversation with Urban Design and Planning dual degree student Brittany Faulkner, as well as international Urban Design student Aparna Rajan.
The School of Architecture’s campaign efforts are led by a group of volunteers, with Laura and Fred Clarke of New Haven, Connecticut, serving as honorary co-chairs. Other campaign committee leaders include Sam Kumar of Austin; Tammy Chambless of Dallas; David Harrison of West Palm Beach, Florida; and faculty members Larry Speck and Richard Jennings.
“As we look to the future of the school, our disciplines, and the world at large, the students we teach today are the next generation of leaders who will shape spaces and communities where we will live, work, and thrive for years to come,” said Michelle Addington, dean of the School of Architecture. “What we do here matters. How and what we teach them matters. Through the What Starts Here Campaign, your gift is not only an investment in our work and the students we serve today, but it is also an investment in the buildings, landscapes, cities, and communities we will imagine and build, together.”
For additional information, or to learn how to become involved in the School of Architecture’s campaign, please contact Luke Dunlap, executive director for development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.471.6114.