Accolades: Fundraising Efforts, Comet Sports Teams Garner Recognition

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager.

Fundraising Program Earns CASE Award

UT Dallas has been honored with a 2020 Educational Fundraising Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The University’s fundraising has helped transform the campus, including the addition of the Engineering and Computer Science West building.

The University earned this distinction in the category of “Overall Improvement” among public research/doctoral institutions with endowments over $215 million. The award recognizes significant achievement by university fundraising efforts over the past three years by measuring growth in total university support, alumni-giving participation and impact on key areas such as endowment, current operations and capital projects.

“Our talented and dedicated staff works hard every day to create a culture of philanthropy in our community,” said Kyle Edgington PhD’13, vice president for development and alumni relations. “This award is a testament to their accomplishments. I am grateful that University leadership continues to invest in our efforts. Of course, everything we do is made possible by the generosity of our loyal alumni, donors and friends.”

Since 2017 UT Dallas has added nearly 200 funds to its endowment, increasing its market value from $483 million to a high of $574 million. During this time, the University has continued to set record numbers for alumni participation and total gifts raised each year, realizing a 78% increase in annual donations from 2017 to 2019.

This fundraising success has made a transformative impact around campus. Highlights include the acquisition of world-renowned collections of art, the construction of new buildings such as the Engineering and Computer Science West, new awards to promote the research of early career faculty, record-setting scholarship endowments and a recent effort to aid students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Talented students, staff and faculty are the face of every great university,” said UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson, the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. “The work they do inspires alumni and partners to support the aspirations of our students, groundbreaking research, life-changing clinical care and creative expression.”

Women’s Golf Team Wins Academic National Title

Boasting a team GPA of 3.86 over the 2019-20 academic year, the women’s golf team has for the first time been crowned the Academic National Champion of NCAA Division III by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

From left: Comet golfers Karen Alvarez, Marissa Langer, Lindy Patterson and Michelle Edgar.

Seniors Michelle Edgar, Marissa Langer and Lindy Patterson and sophomore Karen Alvarez also were honored as All-American Scholars by the WGCA. The women’s golf team was not the only UT Dallas sports program that collected major academic accolades over the summer.

The men’s golf team received the Presidents Special Recognition Honor for the fifth consecutive year from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). Only teams with a GPA at 3.5 and higher collected the honor. Three Comets — Harrison Hicks BS’20, graduate student Jacob Rockefeller and junior Joseph Park — also were recognized as All-America Scholars by the GCAA. Hicks also was named Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America after closing his career with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

The volleyball team earned the Team Academic Award from the United States Marine Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association, and five members of the men’s basketball program were named to the Honors Court by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. For the 2019-20 academic year, UT Dallas placed 112 student-athletes on the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Academic All-Conference Teams with six Comets named the ASC’s Distinguished Scholar-Athlete for their respective sport.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].