Want to support UT Dallas in a way that leaves a lasting legacy? Opportunity Funds give donors the chance to benefit any part of the University through the creation of a permanent endowment. These funds can be established with a gift of at least $10,000 and can be pledged over five years. Employee matching gift programs, which are offered by many companies, can be used to fulfill a pledge.
Opportunity Funds provide deans, center directors and other key leaders with critical unrestricted resources. These funds can be used to take advantage of timely opportunities, enhance programs and meet unexpected needs.
By pooling the income generated by multiple Opportunity Funds, deans and directors may enable students to travel to academic conferences, pay for upgraded research equipment, supplement scholarships to recruit competitive students and bring distinguished artists to campus.
To learn more about our generous donors who have established Opportunity Funds, select any of the names listed below. For more information, please call 972-883-6504.
Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies
- Schuman-Ellman Opportunity Fund for the Ackerman Center
- Dougherty-Mitchel Opportunity Fund for Alumni Relations
Erin Dougherty BA’03, MPA’07 and Ray Mitchel BA’03 created an Opportunity Fund to provide resources to enhance the relationship between UT Dallas and its alumni. The couple met at the University as freshmen. They are grateful for the opportunities that UT Dallas has provided to them as students, alumni and employees. Erin worked in alumni relations at UT Dallas from 2006-2015, most recently as the senior director of alumni relations and annual giving. Ray is a police officer at the University. Both Erin and Ray said they believe that the University is strengthened by a strong group of involved alumni who are proud of their alma mater. The gift is intended to be a source of opportunity and inspiration for future generations of Comets.
- Phil and Stephanie Ritter Opportunity Fund for Development and Alumni Relations
- Randy Black Opportunity Fund for Baseball
- Gene Fitch Opportunity Fund for Athletics
Dr. Gene Fitch Jr.’s Opportunity Fund to support athletics enables the department to better represent the University and enhance the experience of student-athletes. For Fitch, vice president for Student Affairs at UT Dallas, intercollegiate athletics provides the campus community with a means to unite through a common bond—supporting the University. Fitch believes that athletics is vital to every student because it provides a richer college experience on campus. Athletics can often be used as a window to a university, he explained. Through athletics, prospective students can learn about the dynamic opportunities available at UT Dallas. Fitch came to UT Dallas from Middle Tennessee State University, where he was the associate vice president of student affairs and dean of student life.
- Dr. John McCracken Opportunity Fund for Athletics
Callier Center for Communication Disorders
- Paula R. Dennard Opportunity Fund for Pediatric Autism Care
- Jan Lougeay Excellence in Clinical Training Opportunity Fund, Established by Drs. Christine A. Dollaghan and Thomas F. Campbell
- For the Advancements in Fluency Disorders and Communication Technology Opportunity Fund, established by Anand and Sandhya Seshadri
- Cochlear Implant Program Opportunity Fund, Established in Honor of Pediatric Patients and their Families by Melissa and Ben Sweeney
Melissa MS’98 and Ben Sweeney have a personal connection to the Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Cochlear Implant Program. After graduating from UT Dallas with a master of science in communication disorders, Melissa became a speech-language pathologist at the same place that she did her clinical training: Callier. Little did she know that working with children and families in the center’s cochlear implant program would become her life’s work. It’s been 13 years since Melissa started at Callier, and she now serves as the program’s first division head. The Sweeneys created an Opportunity Fund to honor the children and families in the program. Melissa said that the participants have enriched her life and that she and Ben are committed to the program’s sustenance.
- Howard B. And Lois C. Wolf Opportunity Fund for Clinical Care of the Hearing Impaired
Center for BrainHealth
- Laurie Goodson Glasgow Opportunity Fund
- Buck Horn Opportunity Fund
- Daryl Johnston Opportunity Fund
- Lee Roy Jordan Opportunity Fund
Center for Vital Longevity
- Jean and Bill Booziotis Opportunity Fund
Jean and Bill Booziotis established an Opportunity Fund for the Center for Vital Longevity to support the efforts of a group of distinguished cognitive neuroscientists led by Drs. Denise Park and Michael Rugg. Bill founded Booziotis & Company Architects in 1989 and serves as its senior principal. He founded that firm’s precursor, Thomas and Booziotis, in 1965. During his career, Bill has worked with clients including UT Austin, Texas Instruments, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Communities Foundation of Texas. He has also been involved in all phases and aspects of planning, architecture and interior design in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Bill has served on numerous advisory committees and boards, such as the Center for Vital Longevity Advisory Council and the UT Dallas Development Board.
- Betty L. Miller Opportunity Fund, established by E. Michelle Miller
- Pomberg and Hammer Family Opportunity Fund, established by David Pomberg and Jerri Hammer
Eugene McDermott Library
- Judy and Larry Sall Opportunity Fund
Dr. Larry Sall retired from UT Dallas in 2010 after leading the Eugene McDermott Library through an era of dynamic growth. His tenure included service under four UT Dallas presidents. Sall joined the library as coordinator of Special Collections in 1978 and was selected as director of libraries in 2000. He became the dean in 2004. A native of Portland, Ore., Sall received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Idaho and his master’s degree and doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit. He was a graduate exchange fellow at the University of Munich. An active member of the community, Sall serves on the boards of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and the Texas Audubon Society. He is a member of the UT Dallas History of Aviation Advisory Council, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, the American Council on Germany and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Now that he’s retired, Sall enjoys traveling the world with his wife Judy, who spent many years working in the library of the Dallas Morning News.
- Miriam Watson Opportunity Fund for the Louise B. Belsterling Botanical Collection
Eugene McDermott Library’s History of Aviation Collection
- Jan Collmer Opportunity Fund
Jan Collmer was a well-known businessman and philanthropist. He was the chairman of the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) Advisory Council and founder and president emeritus of the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. Jan created and served as president of High Voltage Power Systems, previously Collmer Semiconductor. He is a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and has flown in air shows for more than 20 years. From 1990-96, Jan served on the UT Dallas Development Board. In addition to the HAC, Jan also supported the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas.
- James and Jayne Davilla Opportunity Fund
Dr. James Davilla is an aviation and aerospace enthusiast who also serves on the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) Advisory Council. James’ affinity for the University began when he used the McDermott Library Special Collections, home of the HAC, to do research for his book French Aircraft of the First World War. His work with UT Dallas was so impactful to his research that he established an Opportunity Fund for the ongoing care and operation of the HAC. James also gives back to the University in other ways, including hosting several members of the advisory council who traveled to San Jose, Calif., to view his private collection of aviation memorabilia.
- Jack and Jane Hamilton Opportunity Fund
Both Jack and Jane Hamilton were longtime area residents who generously supported UT Dallas. Jack was a key figure in the growth of the History of Aviation Collection (HAC). As former president of Teledyne Geotech, he was a staunch supporter of aviation history who served as co-chairman of the History of Aviation Collection Advisory Council. The council provides guidance and fundraising support for the HAC. Jack also served on the board of directors for the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. From 2002-10, Jane was a board member for the Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.
- Michael and Buffy Hasco Opportunity Fund
Michael Hasco EMBA’98 is vice president of global accounts for the H.J. Heinz Company. As a student at UT Dallas, Michael was voted by his classmates as most likely to be the first quoted in The Wall Street Journal. Michael fulfilled that vision when he was featured in a 2006 story that focused on the efforts of food processing giant Heinz to win back the ketchup concession at McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. As an aviation enthusiast and Zeppelin airship specialist, Michael made a book donation to the History of Aviation Collection at UT Dallas. The Technical Air Intelligence Center Report #41: Japanese Balloon and Attached Devices contains declassified U.S. intelligence documents detailing the World War II project that successfully sent balloons rigged with bombs from Japan to the United States. Michael and his wife, Buffy, live in Pittsburgh with their three daughters.
School of Arts and Humanities
- Betty R. (Bitsy) Carter Opportunity Fund
- Opportunity Fund in Honor of Dean Dennis Kratz, Dr. Richard Brettell and Dr. Tom Linehan, established by Bonnie Pitman
Bonnie Pitman established an Opportunity Fund in honor of her colleagues’ leadership, vision, innovation and commitment to creating new models for learning and collaboration.
Before joining the faculty of the School of Arts and Humanities, Pitman served as a leader of the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) for more than a decade. Pitman began as deputy director in 2000 and was named Eugene McDermott Director in 2008. At the DMA, Pitman found new ways to engage audiences by building dynamic collections and exhibitions, and launching innovative programs in the community. She is now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University where she is charged with using her expertise in technology and emerging media to continue to educate students and to enhance the prestige of the School of Arts and Humanities.
- Stefanie Schneidler and Jeffrey Robinson Opportunity Fund
- Genice A. Gladow Rabe Opportunity Fund for History
- Jack J. Lamb and Karen M. Wolfe Opportunity Fund
- Jelcy and Conrad Romberg Opportunity Fund
- School of Arts and Humanities Opportunity Fund, established by Katherine Wells Power
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences Opportunity Fund, Established by Dr. Bert S. Moore
As dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) from 1989-2015, Dr. Bert Moore enjoyed watching all of “the wonderful work done” by faculty on behalf of students, he said. Under Moore’s leadership, the school’s enrollment grew from 387 to 2,427, the number of faculty members more than doubled, and the number of degrees increased from five to 13. Moore also took pride in BBS’ top-ranked student training programs, research that explores areas spanning from infant development to the aging brain and a variety of programs that serve thousands of members of the community annually. Moore created an Opportunity Fund to support these current efforts and to contribute toward their sustainability.
- Susan G. Fleming Opportunity Fund
- Pagett and Mike Gosslee Opportunity Fund to Benefit the Center for Children and Families
Pagett Daves Gosslee MAT’79 and Mike Gosslee honor their parents, children and grandchildren by establishing an Opportunity Fund to sustain the Center for Children and Families. The center promotes positive child development through research, practice and community outreach. The Gosslees were motivated to support the Center for Children and Families because of the difference the outreach programs make in the community. They believe that their support of the center will help provide critical information to families, schools and public policy.
- Pomberg and Hammer Family Opportunity Fund
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
- Carrie Kelleher Opportunity Fund
Carrie Kelleher BS’96 is an entrepreneur and adjunct faculty member in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at UT Dallas. Named the Most Outstanding Graduate of the UT Dallas Economics Program, Carrie worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas before moving to positions in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds.
- Anthony Champagne Opportunity Fund for Pre-Law
- Susan and John Macaulay Opportunity Fund
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
- Daniel and Elizabeth Olajide Opportunity Fund
- Doctor Family Opportunity Fund
- Thomas and Matthew Krenik Opportunity Fund, Established by Bill Krenik
Amorn and Bill PhD’93 Krenik established an Opportunity Fund to celebrate their sons. Thomas Krenik completed a bachelor’s degree in 2010 and a master’s degree in 2012.The Kreniks’ other son, Matthew, enrolled in UT Dallas as a McDermott Scholar in fall 2011 and earned a Goldwater Scholarship in 2013. He completed a bachelor’s degree in 2013. Bill works at Texas Instruments, where he serves as CTO in one of the analog business units. Bill is also a member of the UT Dallas Development Board.Through the family’s relationship with UT Dallas, the Kreniks have seen firsthand the benefit the University brings to North Texas. Amorn and Bill hope that their Opportunity Fund will help UT Dallas grow and continue to serve the community.
- Krish Prabhu Opportunity Fund
Krish Prabhu is a frequent visitor to the campus and longtime supporter of UT Dallas. He is a life member of the Development Board and a past board chair. Krish holds the distinction of establishing the first Opportunity Fund, designating his support to the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. After completing a bachelor of science degree in physics from Bangalore University and a master of science degree in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Krish studied electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pittsburgh, he earned an MSEE in 1977 and a PhD in 1980. Krish received the school’s distinguished alumni award in 2001. He has had an extensive career in the telecommunications industry, starting with technical positions at AT&T’s Bell Labs and Rockwell International, and more recently with senior management roles at Alcatel-Lucent. After a brief run in the venture capital industry at Morgenthaler Ventures, Krish joined Chicago-based Tellabs in 2004 as president and CEO, a position he held until 2008. He was named president and CEO of AT&T Labs in 2011.
- Kurt Holmes Opportunity Fund
- Lila and Mark Spong Bronze Tablet Opportunity Fund
Dr. Mark Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and his wife, Lila, were committed to creating one of the first Opportunity Funds. Lila and Mark, the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair, believe that educational excellence should be recognized. As a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lila was inducted into the Bronze Tablet Club. Each year, the University of Illinois hangs a new bronze tablet listing graduates who have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA through the academic term prior to graduation, and rank in the top 3 percent of the students in their graduating class. To honor this tradition and the motivation it inspired in their lives, Mark and Lila wanted to start a similar custom in ECS.
The Bronze Tablet Opportunity Fund will endow an annual award to one or more ECS graduating seniors based on GPA and recommendations by faculty. Award winners will have their names permanently displayed on a plaque outside of the Texas Instruments Auditorium.
Mark and Lila said they hope that their Opportunity Fund will not only inspire student excellence but also will benefit future deans of ECS.
- Melisa Mrazik Opportunity Fund
School of Interdisciplinary Studies
- Academic Bridge Program Opportunity Fund
- Bridge to Our Future Opportunity Fund, Established by Garry C. Miller, Jr. for the Academic Bridge Program
Garry C. Miller Jr. BS’07 studied finance and economics at the University. A National Merit quarterfinalist, Miller received a full scholarship and is a member of the second class of the Academic Bridge Program (ABP). After completing an internship with Alcatel-Lucent, he took an analyst position with Dell Perot Systems. Miller then went on to lead United Natural Foods, Inc. through several supply chain initiatives, including a return to Texas to open a new distribution center in Lancaster. He currently works as an AGILE project manager at Fidelity Investments. Miller said he decided to establish the Bridge to our Future Opportunity Fund as a way to honor the great leaders and mentors who helped chart a path for him through his days at the University. Since earning a master’s degree in engineering and operations management at the University of New Haven, Miller has an even stronger sense of gratitude to Academic Bridge. The program helped instill in participants a standard of excellence and fostered a culture of achievement, he said. “As iron sharpens iron, we too, as a collective body, push and motivate each other to attain higher levels and reach for our potential. May this endowment serve as a supporting beam in this essential bridge enabling future students to step forward into their destiny.”
- Ram Lal Seekri Opportunity Fund for the Academic Bridge Program
Naveen Jindal School of Management
- Anonymous for Accounting
- Ashok Opportunity Fund
- Center for Information Technology and Management Opportunity Fund
- Clint and Lacey Miller Opportunity Fund
Clint BS’00, MS‘02 and Lacey Miller BA’08 met during a weekend vacation in 2007 and were married two years later in New York City where they both lived. After Lacey received an MBA from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, she was inspired to work at a green technology firm. Today, the couple lives in Austin where their passions include entrepreneurship within the rapidly growing tech community and working with local charities. Clint serves as a director of customer solutions at Lattice Engines and Lacey is the customer relations and content manager at Noesis Energy. When not hard at work, the couple dedicates their time to philanthropic organizations in Austin such as I Live Here, I Give Here, Citizen Generation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Clint and Lacey agree that their experiences at UT Dallas have brought great value to their careers, which was their motivation for establishing an opportunity fund. The couple wanted to give back to the University that helped set their lives in motion.
- Debi and George Carter Opportunity Fund for Real Estate
Debi BS’94 and George Carter wanted to make a meaningful contribution in support of the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s new real estate program. After Debi become one of the first female partners in a commercial real estate development firm in Dallas, she felt compelled to help pave the way for others in the industry. The couple established the Debi and George Carter Opportunity Fund for Real Estate, the first endowed fund in support of the new program. Debi serves as executive vice president at Hudson Peters Commercial, and George is president of Omega Prototypes Inc.
- Diane S. McNulty Opportunity Fund
- Ed Pavese Opportunity Fund
- Edgington Family Opportunity Fund
As both an employee and alumnus of UT Dallas, Kyle Edgington PhD ’13 wanted to give back to the University that has provided him with so many opportunities. He and his wife, Jill, hope to provide opportunities for future students through the establishment of the Edgington Family Opportunity Fund. Providing unrestricted funding was important to Edgington, who worked closely with the dean of the Jindal School for many years. He saw firsthand how critical it is for the dean to respond to unexpected needs with unrestricted funding. Edgington currently serves as UT Dallas’ associate vice president for development.
- EMBA ’95 Opportunity Fund
- Enterprise Holdings Opportunity Fund for Center for Professional Sales
- Hasnain and Rashida Saboowala Opportunity Fund
Hasnain MS’11 and Rashida Saboowala believe the Naveen Jindal School of Management will continue to gain prominence and want to remain active participants in this success. The couple established the Hasnain and Rashida Saboowala Opportunity Fund because they want to give back while helping the school continue to progress. Hasnain, an improvement and performance manager at Ericsson, and Rashida, a physical therapist, hope that their contribution will provide much needed financial support to Jindal School students while inspiring other alumni to give back.
- Henry Schein Dental Opportunity Fund
Dean Kyle established the Henry Schein Dental Opportunity Fund after meeting students in the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s professional sales concentration. Kyle, a zone general manager for Henry Schein Dental, was impressed by the caliber of talent produced at the Jindal School and wanted to help support the professional sales concentration. Kyle knew by investing in sales education at the Jindal School, Henry Schein Dental would also be investing in future leaders of the sales industry. Through financial support from the Henry Schein Dental Opportunity Fund, the professional sales concentration continues to grow and develop talented sales students.
- International Management Opportunity Fund
- Isha and Mohit Malhan Opportunity Fund
Isha MS’14 and Mohit MS’10 Malhan wanted to give back to the Naveen Jindal School of Management and pay forward the scholarship support Mohit received as a student. Both Isha and Mohit work at Ericsson and attribute much of their success to their positive experiences at the Jindal School. Isha, a master data management specialist, and Mohit, an operational governance manager, know that by establishing this fund they will support many Jindal School students and continue a cycle of giving.
- Jennie McCament Opportunity Fund
- John Macaulay Family Opportunity Fund
- Kevin and Cristi Ryan Opportunity Fund
Kevin Ryan MBA’95 attributes part of his professional success, including at his current position as CFO of Merit Energy Co., to his educational experiences. He and his wife, Cristi, initially earned accounting degrees from The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business in 1984. Kevin followed up his bachelor’s degree with an MBA from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Today, Kevin, Cristi and their two children live close to campus, where Kevin is still active. He serves on both the Jindal School Advisory Council and The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee.
- Lars Magnus Ericsson Opportunity Fund for the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Lennox Opportunity Fund
- Lynne Manilla Opportunity Fund
- Mathew and Gracey Jacob Opportunity Fund
- Meade Monger EMBA’95 Opportunity Fund
- Monica Scott BS’87, MBA’97 Opportunity Fund
- Paycom Opportunity Fund
- PGC Opportunity Fund for Accounting
- Professor Randy Guttery Real Estate Opportunity Fund
Dr. Randy Guttery knows firsthand the impact financial contributions have on students and faculty alike. In his dual role at the Jindal School as director of real estate programs and clinical professor of finance and managerial economics, he understands that financial support is needed to ensure forward momentum and future success. That is why he established an opportunity fund benefiting real estate programs. He wanted to directly help his students while supporting the University’s goal to become a Tier One institution.
- Richardson Living Magazine Opportunity Fund
- Robert and Gloria Hewlett Opportunity Fund
Bob Hewlett BS’82 established the first Opportunity Fund for the Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM) to reflect his appreciation for his educational experience at UT Dallas. From 1953-58, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Agent in the Office of Special Investigations. A 30-year career in the petroleum industry in plant operations and consulting followed. After he retired, Bob served as president and treasurer of the Hunt Oil Retirees group. In 2001, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by JSOM, where he has served as a mentor to students in the Cohort MBA program. Bob was awarded the University’s Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service in 2009. He served as an executive committee member of the University’s former alumni association and the association’s historian.
Steve Lyle retired in 2016 from his position as director of university and engineering workforce development programs for Texas Instruments. Steve’s responsibilities included K-12 education, overall worldwide university collaboration and various diversity and inclusive initiatives across the company. He holds double degrees from Western Kentucky University in information technology and office administration and is a graduate of the Human Resource Strategic Leadership course at the University of Michigan and the Strategic Negotiations course at Harvard University. Steve serves on the board of directors for the Texas Business and Education Coalition and has a long history of working with universities. He is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Naveen Jindal School of Management Advisory Council, which he chaired from 2006-08, and the UT Dallas Development Board. He also served on Texas Tech University’s Management Information Science Advisory Board, as a faculty affiliate in Tech’s College of Business, and as a member of Southern Methodist University’s Career Development Advisory Board.
- Roy C. Snodgrass IV Opportunity Fund
- Sorath Lion Opportunity Fund, established by Mayur and Nutan Ranoliya-Radadiya
Mayur MS’10 and Nutan MS’13 Ranoliya wanted to help empower students at the Naveen Jindal School of Management, so the couple established the Sorath Lion Opportunity Fund. The fund provides needed financial support to eligible students, while honoring the Asiatic lions that inhabit the Sorath region of India. The Sorath lions are the last of the Asiatic breed and had to adapt to new surroundings in order to avoid extinction. Today the Sorath lion population is thriving. The Ranoliyas hope to help students, that like the Sorath lions, also must overcome extreme adversity while pursuing a degree. Nutan, a senior software application developer for Texert Inc. and Mayur, an engineering manager for software services at Ericsson, hope their Opportunity Fund will not only inspire student achievement but encourage creative thinking.
- Steven W. Lyle Opportunity Fund
Steve Lyle is the director of education, workforce development and diversity for Texas Instruments. Steve’s responsibilities include K-12 education, overall worldwide university collaboration and various diversity and inclusive initiatives across the company. He holds double degrees from Western Kentucky University in information technology and office administration and is a graduate of the Human Resource Strategic Leadership course at the University of Michigan and the Strategic Negotiations course at Harvard University. Steve serves on the board of directors for the Texas Business and Education Coalition and has a long history of working with universities. He is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Naveen Jindal School of Management Advisory Council, which he chaired from 2006-08, and the UT Dallas Development Board. He also served on Texas Tech University’s Management Information Science Advisory Board, as a faculty affiliate in Tech’s College of Business, and as a member of Southern Methodist University’s Career Development Advisory Board.
- The Wyly Family Opportunity Fund in Innovation and Entrepreunership
- Wingate by Wyndham Richardson Dallas Opportunity Fund
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Kelly Ann Drake Opportunity Fund for the Department of Science/Mathematics Education
Kelly Ann Drake BS’03, MS’04, PhD’08 was an outstanding physics student who touched the lives of many who knew her during her eight years at UT Dallas. She began her undergraduate classes in 2000 and became active in the Society of Physics Students. After completing a bachelor’s degree, Drake entered the graduate physics program to study space sciences under Dr. Rod Heelis, the director of UT Dallas’ William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences.
Later, she helped found UT Dallas Women in Physics (WiP) to provide support and encouragement to female physics students. Drake and fellow students led the creation of the first WiP Physics Camp for Girls in 2004. The camp has been held every summer since, and provides middle school girls with a week of hands-on science education. Drake’s passion for encouraging women to pursue careers in science was exemplified by the energy she invested in creating and running the camp for the first four years of its existence.
The Kelly Ann Drake Opportunity Fund for the Department of Science/Mathematics Education was established to honor her memory and to support the continuing existence of the physics camp so that more young women will be encouraged to pursue careers in science.
- Petroleum Geology Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences, established by James Dixon
Long before Dr. James R. Dixon PhD’80 became a geological advisor for ExxonMobil Exploration Company, he honed his chops at UT Dallas. Jim credits his experience at the University as helping to lay the foundation for a successful 20-year career. In 1975, both Jim and his wife, Selena, enrolled in the UT Dallas Geosciences graduate program. As a student, he taught geology classes at Eastfield College and interned for a summer at Mobil Oil’s research lab in Dallas. Pleased with his work, Mobil hired Jim to conduct research on the origin of uranium deposits, the characterization of sandstone oil reservoirs, and the fluid flow behavior of reservoir rocks. When Mobil merged with Exxon in the late 1990s, Jim moved his family to the Houston area so he could join ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company. Later, Jim transferred to ExxonMobil Exploration Company, where he teaches, mentors and oversees core analysis for worldwide exploration projects. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Society of Core Analysts. Jim is a past recipient of the UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award. In his spare time, he volunteers as a community firefighter.
- Scott Garrick Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
- Gerard C. Gaynor Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
This fund was established by Gerard “Neil” C. Gaynor PhD ’91 to expand the learning and research that takes place in the Department of Geosciences. As a graduate of UT Dallas, Gaynor firmly believes that education is a great investment and provides the greatest returns, both financially and intellectually. The motivation for creating this fund arose from Gaynor’s rewarding experiences within the geosciences program. He said that the knowledge and experiences he gained were monumental. Gaynor emphasized that his interaction with faculty and fellow students was the basis for his successful career in the oil and gas business. He also said that it was with a sense of gratitude that he created this fund to provide educational opportunities for the future.
- Molly and John Geissman Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
This fund was established by Dr. John W. Geissman, a professor in the Department of Geosciences, and his wife, Molly, to further earth science education. Geissman, who received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in geology from the University of Michigan, has worked at UT Dallas since 2011. With support from UT Dallas and the STARS program, Geissman has helped resurrect the University’s paleomagnetic research laboratory. The laboratory is home to several graduate and undergraduate students who engage in a multitude of research projects. Geissman is also interested in rock magnetism and currently studies controls on magnetic fabrics in a wide range of intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks. As an enthusiastic supporter of science education and a past-president of the Geological Society of America, Geissman is focused on conveying the importance of science on a societal level.
- Lynn and Tom McIntire Opportunity Fund
Lynn BA’79 and Tom McIntire are certified financial planners who live in Dallas. Tom is a Harvard University graduate who started his planning business in 1992 following a successful overseas career in the oil services industry. Lynn joined him as a partner after having served for several years as a vice president for First Tennessee Brokerage Inc.
Lynn’s first position after graduating from UT Dallas was in a research lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She then worked in pharmaceutical sales and later held a development position for the Easter Seals in Fort Worth. Lynn and Tom reconnected in 1995 at their 20-year reunion at Richardson High School. While getting acquainted again, Tom discovered that Lynn would be an excellent investment planner, and he encouraged her to consider a second career.
Lynn has two sons. Chris graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and David from The University of Texas at Austin. The McIntires are also the proud owners of a goldendoodle named Chewie.
Tom and Lynn are firm believers in philanthropy and commit their time and income to favorite charities each year. Lynn served on the board of UT Dallas’ former alumni organization and still wears her class ring. The McIntires’ careers in financial planning have illustrated to them the importance of long-term investments, which is why they continue to invest in UT Dallas. In addition to their outright gift, they have arranged for another gift, through their estate plans, to benefit their Opportunity Fund.
- Richard M. Mitterer Excellence in Education Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
- Natural Sciences and Mathematics Opportunity Fund in Honor of Myron B. Salamon
In honor of Dr. Myron B. Salamon’s retirement as dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2011, former UT Dallas president David E. Daniel created the Myron B. Salamon Opportunity Fund. Salamon served as dean for five years. Prior to joining UT Dallas, Salamon led a distinguished 40-year career at the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign.
- Daniel E. Schwartz Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
An Opportunity Fund created by Dan Schwartz PhD’78 will help University students with field work and “get their hands on some rocks,” he said. As a geologist, many of Schwartz’s best memories and significant realizations came to him in the field. At UT Dallas, he spent time fording the Red River to gather samples for his dissertation, traveling in Mexico to help a fellow graduate student with samples, and going to West Texas and New Mexico to help Geosciences Professor Emeritus James Carter with collections. Field work was critical to Schwartz’s understanding of geology. During his 34 year career as a geologist at Shell Oil Co., he performed the same type of analyses and interpretation, whether assessing surface exposures, developing reservoir models for appraisal and development or running training courses for students. Schwartz said UT Dallas students should see as many outcrops as they can and invoked the old adage, “the best geologist is the one that has seen the most rocks.”
- Dean and Cindy Sherry Opportunity Fund for the Department of Chemistry
With the start of the fall 2012 semester, Dr. Dean Sherry completed his 40th year as a faculty member at UT Dallas. To celebrate, he established an Opportunity Fund to support the Chemistry Department. “The changes I’ve seen at UT Dallas over the course of four decades have been remarkable,” Sherry said. “Establishing an Opportunity Fund seemed a fitting way to give back since it will support the Chemistry Department forever.” Sherry holds the Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology Science. He also holds a joint appointment as a professor of radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he serves as director of the Advanced Imaging Research Center. Dr. Cindy Sherry, who also has deep ties to the University, shares in her husband’s milestone. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1978 from UT Dallas, and went on to an accomplished career in radiology. She is chair and medical director of the department of radiology at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and a managing partner for Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center. She was recognized by UT Dallas in 2009 with the Distinguished Alumni Award. “Both Cindy and I have had great careers, and UT Dallas has played a big role in our lives,” Sherry said. “We’ve witnessed firsthand the progress toward becoming a Tier One research university and see the impact it’s beginning to have in this community.”
- John Williamson Memorial Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
Created by David BS’98, MS’02, MS’03 and Larissa BA’00 Williamson and named in honor of David’s father, John Robert Williamson, this fund is designated for use by the Department of Geosciences wherever the greatest need exists. As a human being, businessman and father, John Williamson lived by principle and led by example. He was a staunch believer in the power of a quality higher education and an emphatic supporter throughout his son’s journey through UT Dallas and beyond. Therefore, this fund is emblematic of that vital support network students rely on day-to-day — from parents, from spouses, from friends — as they work tirelessly towards achieving the goal of degreed geoscientist.
- Qingming Yang Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
Qingming Yang PhD’93 said he established an Opportunity Fund to thank UT Dallas for providing him with a great education and its support of him as a student and research scientist. Now executive vice president of business development and geosciences at Approach Resources Inc., Yang said he is proud to be an alumnus of the Geosciences Department and to be part of a University that has produced astronauts, distinguished scientists, outstanding administrators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and industry leaders. In order to continue this outstanding tradition and to drive UT Dallas to even greater heights as a Tier One university, Yang said he hopes to encourage other alumni to be inspired by his gift and create Opportunity Funds of their own.
- Anvar and Nadira Zakhidov Opportunity Fund for the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute and the Department of Physics
Dr. Anvar Zakhidov and his wife, Nadira, celebrated both his 60th birthday and his career at UT Dallas by establishing an Opportunity Fund to benefit the Physics Department and the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute.
Zakhidov is known for his landmark advancements in nanotechnology, photonics and the physics of solar energy devices. He joined UT Dallas in 2001 to co-found, with Dr. Ray Baughman, the MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute where Zakhidov is the associate director.
“As a young scientist, I received a lot of support from the university where I studied, from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and from various foundations worldwide, including some in Japan and Italy,” said Dr. Zakhidov. “Now I want to give back to students and researchers so that they will have the opportunity to participate in international workshops and conferences like I did, and to expand their research to new areas.”
Nadira is a longtime UT Dallas staff member who has served as a web specialist at the Eugene McDermott Library for more than 10 years. She recently received her second master’s degree, this one in library science. The Zakhidovs were inspired by colleague Dr. Dean Sherry, who, along with his wife, Dr. Cindy Sherry BS’78, rang in his 40th year as a UT Dallas faculty member by establishing an Opportunity Fund for the Chemistry Department in 2012.
- Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences in Support of Geology and Geophysics
While the Department of Geosciences is relatively small in terms of total students, its impact to the University is real and lasting. Geosciences alumni have achieved notable successes as scientists, executives and entrepreneurs. They routinely give back to their alma mater and encourage their companies and fellow alumni to contribute as well.
Recognized by UT Dallas for professional accomplishments and University involvement, a group of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients banded together to create this opportunity fund to benefit the department’s ongoing mission of furthering the understanding of Earth processes through cutting-edge geological and geophysical research. The fund serves as a beacon for other alumni, reminding them that their involvement and contributions can have a resounding impact on the University. It serves as an example to current students that the degrees they are pursuing will have a resounding impact on their future professional and personal growth.The fund was established by:
- James F. Reilly BS’77 MS’87 PhD’95, 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award
- James R. Dixon PhD’80, 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award
- Qingming Yang PhD’93, 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award
- David Williamson BS’98, MS’02, MS’03, Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service
- Daniel E. Schwartz PhD’78, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award
- GeoClub Legacy Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
GeoClub, a student organization devoted to promoting geosciences awareness and knowledge within the University and the general community, has always been the conduit for students to share and challenge ideas, collaborate and learn from each other, and find fellowship based on common interests. This fund is intended to be used by the department to benefit students as they further their research in the field or lab. Symbolically, the fund is intended to act as a bridge between current undergraduate and graduate “GeoClubbers” and the alumni who preceded them. Appropriately, the fund was established by both current and former students: David Williamson BS’98, MS’02, MS’03; Larissa Williamson BA’00; Dean Tuck BS’07; Allie Thurmond BS’98, MS’02, PhD’07; John Thurmond BS’97, PhD’06; and Tom Fitter BS’12, MS’14.
- Geosciences Alumni Energy Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences
The Geosciences Alumni Energy Opportunity Fund was created by five generous alumni who work at Pioneer Natural Resources. David Williamson BS’98, MS’02, MS’03, Kevin Woller MS’01, Rob Hull MS’94, Neil Basu MS’06 and Sherrie Pena MS’05 made gifts that were matched by Pioneer’s matching gift program. The fund supports projects, grants or equipment acquisitions that further research and benefit the petroleum industry. The alumni said they were inspired to give by the University’s Tier One aspirations, the growth of the Geosciences Department and by recent faculty hires. Their hope is that the Geosciences Department is on a trajectory to becoming a Tier One geosciences program in North Texas. They encourage other alumni to pool their financial, intellectual and network resources to aid in the continued growth of the Department.
- Geoscience Excellence in Education Opportunity Fund for the Department of Geosciences