UTSA raises $5 million in five months to match H-E-B gift to recruit world-class faculty

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(April 3, 2013) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has received $5 million in pledges in response to a recent $5 million H-E-B Faculty Research Fund matching gift supporting the recruitment and retention of leading scholars and researchers.

The combined $10 million will support 13 new endowed professorships and chairs, critical components to attracting world-class faculty to the university and progressing toward designation as a Tier One research institution.

The gift match brings to 59 the number of endowed faculty positions that have been established at UTSA, representing approximately 9 percent of tenure and tenure-track faculty positions. Twenty-six of those endowments have been established in the last four years.
The newly endowed positions will include:

College of Business
Bodenstedt Chair for the Dean of Business ($1 million)
Melvin Lachman Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship ($500,000)

College of Education and Human Development
Dr. Bertha Perez Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Biliteracy Research ($500,000)

College of Engineering
The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Endowed Chair in Mechanics ($1 million)
Jacobson Distinguished Professorship of Innovation and Entrepreneurship ($500,000)

College of Liberal and Fine Arts
Stumberg Distinguished University Chair for the Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts ($2 million)

College of Sciences
Rita and John Feik Distinguished University Chair in Medicinal Chemistry ($2 million)
The Semmes Foundation Endowed Chair in Neurobiology ($1 million)
Dr. Weldon W. Hammond Jr. Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Hydrogeology ($500,000)

Office of the Provost
Cloud Technology Endowed Professorships (4) ($250,000 each)

"This is a watershed moment for UTSA," said President Ricardo Romo. "The generosity of H-E-B was the spark that ignited giving by others who saw matching gifts as a way to make their commitments even more impactful. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed so meaningfully to the advancement of faculty excellence."

Among the endowed positions is a $2 million distinguished university chair for research in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, made possible through a $1 million gift from Rita and John Feik and a $1 million match from the H-E-B Faculty Research Fund.

"Education is one of our top priorities for charitable giving, and we like the fact that this gift is perpetual in nature and will endow a long line of accomplishments through UTSA," said John Feik. "We both believe in sharing and giving back, and it's great knowing we are supporting UTSA students from the local area and South Texas," added Rita Feik.

Other endowments include two dean's chairs in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Business.

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will oversee four endowed professorships to expand studies and research in cloud computing technology. The endowments were spurred by a gift by the 80/20 Foundation.

Through these endowed chairs and professorships, UTSA faculty will be better positioned to focus on discovery and new knowledge that aligns with the economic growth engines of San Antonio including research in health, energy, sustainability, technology, and human and social development.

"We are committed to bringing world-class educators and researchers to our university, giving our students the opportunity to study side-by-side with leading scholars and educating the next generation of leaders who will contribute meaningfully to our city and its quality of life," Romo said.

For more information, visit The University of Texas at San Antonio website.