University of Texas, Austin Announces $6 Billion Fundraising Campaign

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) on Friday announced its largest fundraiser to date, setting a goal of raising $6 billion as part of its effort What starts here Campaign.

It is the largest philanthropic campaign in the history of higher education in Texas and one of the largest ever undertaken by a US public university.

“Right now, we face incredible opportunities as we pursue our goal of becoming the world’s most influential public research university,” said Jay Hartzell, President of UT Austin. “We will accomplish this by continuing to attract highly talented people, leverage our unique location in Austin and Texas, and focus on transformative endeavors. By advancing our ambitious plans, the What Starts Here campaign will truly change the world.”

The so-called “quiet phase” of the UT campaign began on September 1, 2016. According to the university’s launch notice, over 240,000 donors have already contributed more than $3.4 billion to the effort, a total close to the approximately $3 billion -dollars in contributions received during college pre-exceeds Campaign for Texaswhich ran from 2006 to 2014.

One of the specific goals of What starts here is to strengthen UT’s student talent pipeline by providing $1 billion to “scholarships and student assistance programs that expand the opportunities for experiential learning, help students graduate on time, and prepare them for success after graduation.” to prepare”.

Other campaign priorities include recruiting and retaining faculty and graduate students, modernizing physical facilities, improving research, improving health in the state of Texas, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and capitalizing on other Austin and Texas competitive advantages.

A focus will be placed on further advancing UT as a national leader in health research and science. Cited in Austin American statesmanScott Rabenold, UT’s vice president of university development, said the campaign will support research and new models of healthcare that “will help transform healthcare in Texas.”

“We’re changing the world. We’re getting better outcomes. We need better health outcomes in this state, and I’m confident that because of this campaign and because of the leadership of the medical company at UT-Austin, we’ll get those better health outcomes in both central Texas and in our state, Rabenold said.

Among the major campaign gifts received so far are two donations of $100 million or more. The Moody Foundation awarded a $130 million grant for the university’s new basketball arena and events center, dubbed the Moody Center. And the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation pledged $100 million to fund need-based financial aid for UT students.


Not so long ago, $1 billion fundraising campaigns were a rarity in the higher education scene, but today, multi-billion dollar fundraising is becoming more common among both public and private institutions.

Harvard set the record for largest campaign win in 2018, raising $9.6 billion in a campaign that began in 2013 with a goal of $6.5 billion. That eclipsed Stanford’s previous record of $6.2 billion set in 2012. Yale announced the launch of a $7 billion campaign in 2021.

The University of Michigan became the first public university to raise $5 billion in a campaign that ended in 2018. The University of California, Los Angeles raised nearly $5.5 billion in its campaign, which ran from 2014 through the end of 2019. A University of Chicago campaign raised $5.4 billion over the same five-year period, nearly doubling the revenue of a previous campaign that ended in 2008.

The University of Washington’s ten-year “Be Boundless” campaign raised $6.3 billion at its conclusion in 2020, far exceeding its original goal of $5 billion. Texas A&M’s nine years, $4 billion Lead by example Campaign concluded in 2021 after raising $4.25 billion. Purdue University raised more than $2.5 billion in its most recent campaign. The University of Oregon announced in 2021 that it had raised more than $3 billion in its capital campaign launched in 2014.

The University of California, Berkeley has set a goal of $6 billion to be completed in 2023 for its new The Light The Way: Campaign For Berkeley, with a goal of $5 billion to be raised by 2025 target.

A frequently updated list of other college and university capital campaigns can be found here.

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