University of Houston System Universities Raise Record Amount in FY19, Surpass Goals

The four University of Houston System (UHS) universities— University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria—raised a record $202 million in combined private support in fiscal year 2019. The banner year propelled the systemwide “Here, We Go” Campaign past its $1 billion goal by $118 million, and the campaign continues through August 2020. 

“We have been truly blessed by a steadfast donor community who believes in our ability to prepare the next generation of leaders and scholars for the global landscape,” said Eloise Brice, UH System vice chancellor for university advancement. “With this support, we are able to raise the bar in our enduring mission to ensure the success of both our students and faculty at all four of our institutions.”

University of Houston

The University of Houston received unprecedented philanthropic support in FY19, raising nearly $192 million in private donations, including a landmark $50 million anonymous challenge match gift that launched Aspire Fund: The $50 Million Challenge, making it the largest commitment to the University’s “Here, We Go” Campaign and one of the largest academic gifts in the institution’s history. A number of significant gifts have helped advance key initiatives. Gifts included:

  • The Aspire Fund creates a challenge match for endowed chairs and professorships within four new interdisciplinary institutes.
  • The $17 million gift from Andrea (J.D. ’76) and Andrew ( J.D. ’73) Diamond established the Diamond Family Scholars Program to offer financial, academic, mentoring and other support to UH students aging out of the foster care system.
  • A $3.5 million donation from the John M. O’Quinn Foundation will provide full four-year scholarships to one-third of the UH College of Medicine’s second-year class. The gift will also fund faculty hires, labs and a household–centered health care program for underserved communities.
  • The $15 million gift from Humana that established the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute, uniting the UH College of Medicine and existing colleges of nursing, pharmacy, social work and optometry.
  • A $10 million gift from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) established the HPE Data Science Institute to strengthen the University’s research and academic endeavors in data science.
  • The $1 million gift from ConocoPhillips supports the new computer science and math faculty positions in the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, along with fellowships for graduate students with strong data science skills.
  • A $1 million gift from “Here, We Go” Campaign Co-Chair, John Nau III created fellowships in Texas History in the UH College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • The $520,000 gift from The Raymond N. Plank Foundation Fund provides scholarships to UH students enrolled in the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship in the Bauer College of Business.
  • The University of Houston Alumni Association experienced a 15% increase in its Life Membership program.

The University of Houston-Clear Lake

UHCL raised $2,556,342 in fiscal year 2019. Key gifts included:

  • The $500,000 anonymous gift to advance UHCL technology initiatives.
  • A $400,000 gift from the Samuels Family Foundation to the UHCL College of Education Leadership Pathways Program.
  • The $300,000 pledge from the Meah Family Foundation to the Pearland campus Nursing Simulation Lab and the Pearland Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • A $200,000 gift from Kamlesh and Satish Agarwal to fund scholarship and research endowments in the Software Engineering Program in the UHCL College of Science and Engineering.
  • The $70,000 gift from the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation to the Bayou Theater in support of enhancing arts and culture at UHCL.

The University of Houston-Downtown

UHD raised over $3.8 million in fiscal year 2019. Transformative gifts included:

  • More than $1.7 million in gifts funded the construction of the new Sciences & Technology Building, which is the first on the UHD campus to boast multiple spaces named for Houston’s founding families and philanthropists: Brown, Fondren, Cullen, Hamman, M.D. Anderson and others.  
  • The $455,000 grant from the C.T. Bauer Foundation to fund full scholarships for business students in their junior and senior years at UHD. The Ted Bauer Undergraduate Business Scholarships will support 25 students annually, providing $9,000 to each scholarship recipient.

The University of Houston-Victoria

For the second year in a row, the University of Houston-Victoria achieved its highest annual fundraising total in history, raising $3,245,449 in fiscal year 2019, including historic gifts to athletics and academics. The fundraising effort included a record number of donors and the greatest alumni support to date. Philanthropy included:

  • A $1.5 million gift from the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, the largest in the University’s history, to fund the build-out and equipping of science and kinesiology labs.
  • A $300,000 gift commitment from Crossroads Bank to support UHV Jaguar Athletics. To date, this is the largest cash gift commitment to UHV Athletics.

“We are deeply grateful to those who have moved us forward in our journey,” said Renu Khator, chancellor of the UH System and president of the University of Houston. “As always, we will continue to embrace our challenges with strength and determination and sharpen our priorities as we work to impact our city, state and beyond.”  

As the systemwide “Here, We Go” Campaign moves beyond the $1 billion threshold, the strategic focus of continued fundraising will center on new priorities specific to each UH System university. At UH, this includes scholarships to increase affordability and access, endowed professorships to recruit world-class faculty researchers and engaging teachers, and campus identity projects that will create a physically vibrant campus to attract great students and faculty and preserve UH’s visual legacy.

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