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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine


A Special Report

Campaign Highlights

Gifts from key donors led the way


Mary E. McKinney

Mary E. McKinney

The University’s Single Largest Private Donor

A San Antonio native and schoolteacher who taught for 25 years, Mary E. McKinney left to UTSA her estate, which included more than 5,200 acres in ranch land located over the Eagle Ford Shale as well as a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Valued at $22 million upon her death in November 2009, the value of that gift has now increased to more than $30 million.

A strong advocate for education, McKinney furthered her own studies in postgraduate courses at UTSA from 1992 to 1996 and had established a scholarship fund in memory of her parents long before her death.

Her estate gift is the single largest private donation in university history. Because of her gift, more than $500,000 was available to new UTSA students in the first year of funding alone; that amount has increased annually.

Graham Weston and The 80/20 Foundation

Graham Weston

Tech-Backed Fund Launches Institute

When Graham Weston’s philanthropic 80/20 Foun­­dation committed $4.8 million to support open cloud technology research through four endowed professorships, two faculty research positions, 10 graduate student endowments and research funding, he brought other tech industry supporters along with him. Additional gifts and in-kind investments from the likes of Rackspace, AMD, Intel, Mellanox Technologies and Seagate as well as support from the Open Compute Project and the OpenStack Foundation increased the overall investment to $9 million.

The plan for the funds resulted in the 2015 launch of the university’s Open Cloud Institute, making UTSA the nation’s academic leader in open cloud computing education and research.


Gift Vaults Contributions Past Initial Goal

When H-E-B chairman and CEO Charles Butt proposed a $5 million gift challenge in early 2013 to be given to UTSA—the largest private matching gift to the university at the time—it quickly catapulted fund-raising efforts beyond the initial goal of $120 million through the capital campaign. Within five months, 10 private donors stepped up to match H-E-B’s gift with an additional $5 million to support faculty research endowments.

Among the endowed positions created by the fund is a distinguished university chair for research in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in the College of Sciences, made possible through a $1 million gift from Rita and John Feik. It also created a distinguished professorship in innovation and entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering, made possible by a $250,000 pledge from businessman Norman Jacobson.

Malú and Carlos Alvarez

Malú and Carlos Alvarez

Family Gifts Create Multiple Endowments

The Alvarez family has donated more than $7.3 million in gifts to UTSA through personal donations and support from their foundations and companies. They are the donors of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Endowment for Student Success, the Alvarez Graduate Research Education Excellence Fund, and the Alvarez Challenge Match for Graduate Student Excellence. Hundreds of students each year benefit from their gifts.

Carlos Alvarez, whose father advocated education, received a biomedical engineering degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in his native Mexico before attending the U.S. Brewers Academy in New York. He went on to become founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Gambrinus Co., best known as the owner and brewer of Shiner Beers.

Lisa G. Nungesser

Lisa G. Nungesser

Planned Gift Will Ensure Long-term Goals

While teaching graduate courses in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning at UTSA, Lisa Nungesser M.S. ’79 wanted to increase opportunities for students to learn how different communities use different methods, especially in locales abroad, to tackle their urban planning issues.

Her concern initiated discussions with UTSA’s development team and ultimately resulted in her bequeathing a gift of $3.5 million to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. With the gift, Nungesser, an urban planning expert who received her master’s from UTSA, hopes to secure expanded educational opportunities for future students in the department.

Planned giving allows donors control over their legacy, explains Carolyn Lowery, UTSA’s director of gift planning. “Often donors find that with the right planning they can make gifts even larger than they expected, and that makes them feel good about their impact on UTSA.”

Valero Energy Foundation

Valero Energy Foundation

Foundation Foresees Value in Investment

Valero Energy Foundation contributed $2.5 million early in the campaign to support graduate students in engineering and business. The move is credited with advancing UTSA’s recognition as a premier research university and the campaign’s success.

A catalyst for Valero’s decision was UTSA alumnus Clayton Killinger ’83. As senior vice president and controller at Valero at the time, he worked with then-CEO Bill Klesse to express why investing in UTSA was strategic. “Giving to the university, helping it reach Tier One, is not just an investment in UTSA,” Killinger said. “It’s an investment in San Antonio because Tier One universities attract big companies and provide opportunities for our kids.”

Killinger is now executive vice president and CFO at Valero affiliate CST Brands Inc. But UTSA’s strong connection with the company continues with alumnus Gary Simmons M.B.A. ’00, who is now Valero senior vice president and serves on UTSA’s Development Board.

Tom C. and Pat Frost and Frost Bank

Tom C. Frost

Distinguished Honoree Creates Endowed Chair

“Tom has been not only a friend to UTSA but a leader in the university’s charge for attaining Tier One excellence,” President Ricardo Romo said of Tom C. Frost Jr. in recognizing the longtime supporter and Frost Bank’s gift of $1 million to establish the university’s Frost Chair in Finance. The endowed chair supports faculty excellence in research and teaching to develop the next generation of leaders in the financial industry.

A native of San Antonio, Frost began his banking career in 1950 and is the chairman emeritus of the board of Frost Bank. He is the fourth generation of his family to oversee the bank founded by his great grandfather in 1868. In recognition of his service, Frost was the first nonalumnus of UTSA to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the UTSA Alumni Association.

Frost is also the key advocate for a UTSA program that prepares scientists and mathematicians to be teachers—a desperate need for San Antonio schools

Jeffrey and Loretta Clarke

Jeffrey and Loretta Clarke

Alumni Back Education for Future Generations

Both UTSA alumni, Loretta M.A. ’90, ’87 and Jeffrey Clarke ’86 donated $1 million to establish two professorships, one in the College of Education and Human Development (named in honor of Loretta Clarke’s mother, Henrietta Frances Zezula Lowak) and another in the College of Engineering (named after Jeff Clarke’s mother, Mary Lou Clarke).

After Jeff Clarke earned a B.S. in electrical engineering, he embarked on a career at Dell. Loretta Clarke earned her B.S. in physical education and then taught elementary school while earning her master’s in early childhood education. “We were both first-generation college graduates and…feel that our education at UTSA was such a sound basis and foundation for all our successes, both educationally and personally,” Loretta Clarke told UTSA Giving.

Mary Pat Stumberg

Mary Pat Stumberg

Memorializing a Legacy of Giving

When longtime San Antonio resident Mary Pat Stumberg was considering how best to honor the philanthropic efforts of her late husband, Louis Herbert Stumberg, UTSA came to mind. The Stumbergs had created or funded half a dozen endowment funds and scholarships. But Mary Pat Stumberg wanted to memorialize the lifetime’s worth of civic contributions by her businessman husband, who pioneered the manufacture of frozen Mexican food with Patio Foods. She ultimately founded UTSA’s Stumberg Distinguished University Chair.

Funds from the endowment will be used by Dean Daniel Gelo to boost research, teaching, and scholarship within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. “Dan Gelo has been a great dean,” Stumberg said upon making her gift, “so if this can help him leave a good mark on the university and provide for quality leadership into the future, while at the same time honoring my husband, then I welcome the opportunity.”

Tom and Pat Semmes and the Semmes Foundation

Tom and Pat Semmes

Endowed Chair Supports Neurological Research

In a quest to help find a cure for a leading cause of death in America, the Semmes Foundation in 2014 gave $500,000 to support the work of renowned Alzheimer’s disease expert George Perry, UTSA’s College of Sciences dean. That gift brought the total endowment for the Patricia and Tom Semmes Endowed Chair in Neurobiology to $1.5 million, creating additional opportunities for worldwide collaboration and expanded research into the debilitating disease. Perry has held the chair since 2013, when the Semmes Foundation leveraged a matching gift opportunity that created the endowment.

“Not only is Dr. Perry an acknowledged creative genius in his research field, but he is the dean of seven academic departments with 245 faculty and 5,000 students,” Pat Semmes said. “He also collaborates with the best scientists in the world.”

James Bodenstedt

James Bodenstedt

Alumnus Backs Business and Athletics

When NCAA football began at UTSA, James Bodenstedt ’96 made the first million-dollar commitment to support athletic scholarships. Owner of MUY Brands LLC, a franchise restaurant company, Bodenstedt, a UTSA alumnus with a degree in accounting, is also the donor behind the $1 million Bodenstedt Chair for the Dean of Business.

“I wanted to give back to the business school where I graduated, and I wanted to help Dean Gerry Sanders to grow programs and to better develop the College of Business,” he told UTSA Giving.

Bodenstedt also took on the challenge of being the first chairman of the capital campaign. “Higher education helps attract the businesses that look for a skilled workforce. This will lead to greater success for the city. And UTSA will be the biggest part of that attraction.”

Walter M. Embrey Jr.

Walter M. Embrey Jr.

Donor Sees Future in Real Estate Support

San Antonio real estate legend Walter M. Embrey Jr. made a $1 million gift in support of graduate student real estate education in UTSA’s College of Business, resulting in the Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development Program. It is the university’s first named academic program in the College of Business.

Founder and CEO of development, construction, and property management operation Embrey Partners, he said, “Our industry needs talented professionals to keep up with the growth in Texas and the Southwest. I hope this gift will help UTSA develop a new breed of professional, strong in finance, adept in development, and skillful in practical issues like design, engineering, and construction.”

Embrey’s gift supports graduate student fellowship opportunities, externship stipends, and graduate research funding for opportunities such as conferences and industry competitions.


Winter 2016 |  Contents