UH receives $109 million in private contributions

The Ezekiel W. Cullen Building (above) is the main headquarters for many of the administrators at UH  |  Joshua Mann/The Daily Cougar

The Ezekiel W. Cullen Building (above) is the main headquarters for many of the administrators at UH | Joshua Mann/The Daily Cougar

UH raised $109 million in private contributions since 2011, surpassing its goal of $80 million in contributions and boasting an increase of $30 million from the previous year.

The increase in funds could not have come at a better time said Eloise Dunn Stuhr, UH’s vice president and vice chancellor for University Advancement.

“I give tremendous credit to our staff for the increase in private contributions. They recognized the need to sharpen our focus on private philanthropy during a time when our funding from the state continues to decrease,” Stuhr said.

“In addition, the University has initiated several high-profile projects that resonate with donors, such as the football stadium and the Health and Biomedical Sciences Building.”

According to Stuhr, donors contributed gifts to UH athletics, Houston Public Media, the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and the C.T. Bauer College of Business.

Alumnus Doug Barnes and his wife, Molly, pledged $5 million to establish the Doug and Molly Barnes Vision Institute within the College of Optometry, which will be submitted for state-matching funds through the Texas Research Incentive Program.

The two largest individual gifts came from donors living in Dallas and Austin, a fact which reflects the growing prominence and impact of the University beyond Houston.

Stuhr said that UH’s rising national profile will only increase future donor contributions.

“Donors want to support winners. There is a reason why Harvard leads the nation in raising the most money among U.S. college institutions. It represents quality and ambition, and that has great appeal,” Stuhr said.

“As UH continues to raise its profile, enhance its reputation and improve its overall quality, we will be in a much stronger position to make the case that an investment in our University is one of the best investments a donor can make.”

Stuhr also emphasized the importance of individual gifts to the success of not only the University, but its students.

“Individual gifts are incredibly important to UH, as they are for all major research universities. 70 percent of our contributions come from individuals. The gifts we receive from corporations and foundations are vital, as well, but they tend to support research efforts,” she said.

“Individual gifts most often support student-related programs and scholarships, which greatly contribute to our student success initiatives, fueling our drive to excellence.”

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