UTD Receives $40 Million Gift

An aerial shot of the UTD campus | Image by the University of Texas at Dallas

The School of Arts, Technology, and Humanities, located on the University of Texas at Dallas  (UTD) campus, is taking on a new name following a significant donation from a local philanthropic organization.

The school will now be called the Harry W. Bass Jr. School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology. The namesake’s foundation recently gifted $40 million to UTD, which will be used to support the university in a number of ways, creating “expanded opportunities for students, faculty, and the broader community,” as UTD noted in a news release.

The gift will provide expanded scholarship and fellowship opportunities and increased “immersive study experiences” for students. The funds will also be used for faculty support to attract and retain innovative educators.

Nils Roemer, the dean of the Bass School, shared his vision of the donation’s impact:

“The Bass School will be a place where students will continue to come in even larger numbers. Faculty will want to teach here, and the community will want to be a part of this thriving new culture we’re creating here at UT Dallas.”

Additionally, a portion of the foundation’s gift will be used to accelerate the construction of Phase 1 of the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenaeum, a project the university describes as a “new cultural district.”

Phase 1 of the project, currently under construction on a 12-acre site on the southeast corner of the campus, will eventually become home to a second Crow Museum of Asian Art.

Phase 2 of the project will focus on the construction of “a two-story, 53,000-square-foot performance venue with a 600-seat concert hall, choral and orchestra rehearsal rooms, classrooms and office space. It will become the home of arts students and Bass School music faculty,” the news release states.

The Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation’s gift will also support the university’s ongoing fundraising campaign, New Dimensions: The Campaign for UT Dallas. The campaign’s goal is to raise $750 million for various programs across the campus.

Harry W. Bass Jr. was a local businessman and philanthropist who amassed a fortune running an oil company and a ski resort and collecting gold coins. According to Doris Bass, the president and CEO of her late husband’s foundation, Harry W. Bass Jr. believed he had a responsibility to use his resources to benefit others.

“He believed that to whom much has been given, much is required. This mentality, combined with his eye to the future, pushed Harry to garner resources that the foundation now uses to honor his legacy in significant ways,” she said.

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