UT launches construction of Dell Medical School

Dell Medical School groundbreaking 2014

With Bill Powers from left are Sen. Kirk Watson, Jesus Garza of Seton Healthcare Family; Brenda Coleman-Beattie of Central Health, and Dean Clay Johnston

Yesterday, campus and community leaders gathered at the corner of 15th and Red River Streets to celebrate the next phase in the creation of UT Austin’s Dell Medical School, starting construction on three buildings that will form the heart of the school: an academic building, a research building, a medical office building. These will be joined by a teaching hospital to be built by Seton Healthcare Family in the fall.

Leaders who spoke at the event included Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, who has been instrumental in moving the school forward; Brenda Coleman-Beattie, chair of Central Health, the health care district for Travis County; Jesus Garza, the CEO of the Seton Healthcare Family; and Clay Johnston, the founding dean of the Dell Medical School.

It was an exciting day made even better by the presence of high school students and undergraduates studying premed subjects, medical residents, local doctors, and representatives from throughout the community.

Dell Medical School groundbreaking 20142002

Community members write their hopes for the Dell Medical School on signing boards at the groundbreaking

In the coming months, we’ll see these buildings begin to take shape. It will be a thrilling reminder of what is now on the horizon for UT Austin. Before we know it, we’ll be cutting a ribbon.

What starts here changes the world.
Bill's Signature

2013 – One for the Record Books



As 2013 draws to close, I want to thank you for the role you have played in our extraordinarily successful year at UT Austin.

It was a year marked by momentous generosity.

Michael and Susan Dell gave UT $50 million enabling the creation of the Dell Medical School. This was only the first of three times the Dells and UT would make major headlines in 2013. The second was the opening the Dell Computer Science Hall this spring, named in honor of another $10 million gift from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The hall opened as part of the Gates Computer Science Complex, made possible by a $30 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And the third headline was the gift of the Magnum Photos Collection, one of the most valuable gifts in the history of the University, given to the Ransom Center by Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan.

We named the College of Communication for the Moody family in recognition of a $50 million gift from the Moody Foundation. And former Regent Robert Rowling and his wife, Terry, pledged $25 million for a new home for the McCombs School of Business graduate programs to be named Rowling Hall.

All of these gifts and many more contributed to a record-breaking fundraising year for 2012-13. We need one more record year to achieve our $3 billion goal for the Campaign for Texas by the end of August.

It was a year marked by tremendous achievement.

UT’s largest college got a new home in January when we opened the Liberal Arts Building. We also launched the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft. And the Blanton Museum celebrated 50 years with a wonderful exhibit composed of masterworks from alumni collections.

Our faculty continued to win national and international recognitions: The National Academy of Engineering inducted Joseph J. Beaman Jr. of Mechanical Engineering; Sharon L. Wood of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; and Keith P. Johnston of Chemical Engineering. The National Academy of Sciences elected John Goodenough of Mechanical Engineering. And the Institute of Medicine elected George Georgiou of Molecular Biosciences, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Dean Young of the English Department was appointed Texas Poet Laureate. And C. Grant Willson of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering won the Japan Prize.

Our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won Big 12 championships.

And it was a year marked by passages and transitions.

This year we lost the beloved Bill Livingston, who for nearly 60 years had served the University in numerous roles including that of interim president and senior vice president.

It was a year of major transitions as we thanked giants of our UT family for their dedicated service: DeLoss Dodds, who served 32 years as men’s athletics director; Tom Staley, director of the Ransom Center for more than 25 years; Mack Brown, who led our football program for 16 years; Steve Leslie, our executive vice president and provost, who had served in that role since 2007; and Robert Dahlstrom, who had served as UT police chief since 2006.

Among those who have succeeded them — our new executive vice president and provost Greg Fenves, formerly UT’s engineering dean; new athletics director Steve Patterson; new dean of graduate studies Judith Langlois; new dean of Undergraduate Studies Brent Iverson; new director of the Ransom Center Stephen Ennis; and new UT police chief, David Carter.

I’m always proud of UT Austin as I travel and meet my peers, and I am especially so this year as I fulfill my role as chair of the Association of American Universities.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Thank you for all you have done for UT Austin this year.

Bill's Signature


UT Austin breaks all-time fundraising record — Your support is more important than ever


This week, The University of Texas at Austin broke its all-time record for fundraising. With the help of alumni and friends, corporations and foundations, UT has raised more money in the current fiscal year than in any previous year — $396 million. And with three weeks left in the fiscal year, we may well break the previous record of $366 million (2007-08) by an even wider margin.

I’m so proud of our alumni, more than 49,000 of whom have given so far this year. I’m also grateful to the more than 35,500 individuals who are not alumni but have put their money on UT Austin, betting that we can change the world. In addition, we couldn’t have done it without the 2,629 corporations and record 304 foundations that have invested in us this year. I’m also very proud of our outstanding development staff, whose hard work and dedication brings more than a $1 million on average to the University every business day.

These record-level gifts will directly benefit our students, support game-changing research, and help us make UT Austin the top public research university in the nation.

Large gifts have made a huge difference. And this year they have included pledges of $50 million from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation for the Dell Medical School and $25 million from Terry and Robert Rowling for a new graduate education building for the McCombs School of Business. But more than 90 percent of gifts were for less than $1,000. In addition, a record 208 individuals included a gift to UT Austin in their estate plans, totaling $76 million, the highest annual amount during the current campaign and the second-highest annual amount in UT history.

While we all should be immensely proud of this accomplishment, it’s not time to celebrate yet. The fact is, we need one more record year.

Seven years ago, we set a capital campaign goal three times larger than anything attempted before, $3 billion. The economy crashed, and headwinds rose up, but we kept our heading and forged ahead, and we now have raised about $2.2 billion. We are within striking distance of our goal, but before we can claim victory we will need one more extraordinary year, an effort that dwarfs anything we have seen so far. I know this is possible, and I ask every alumnus, friend, and fan of The University of Texas to be a part. If you have given before, please give again. If you haven’t given yet, join the team and be a part of this epic effort. Go to http://giving.utexas.edu/campaign/ and make a gift today.

We can do this. Let’s make history together.

Bill's Signature