Opportunity Funds Are Increasingly Popular Way to Support UT Dallas

Dr. and Mrs. Zakhidov

Nadira and Dr. Anvar Zakhidov

Nearly 70 alumni, friends and UT Dallas faculty have stepped forward for the Realize the Vision campaign to create Opportunity Funds. These unrestricted endowments can be established to support a school, department, research center or any other area donors choose.

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,” Zakhidov said. “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.”

Realize the Vision logo

Nadira Zakhidov 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, 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.

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.

Learn more about Opportunity Funds at

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

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