[UTA Magazine]


Taking care of business
Anonymous $2 million gift will fund leadership academy, professorships

The students haven't been picked and the professors have yet to be named, but already the excitement is building.

A $2 million gift—the largest in UTA's history—will serve as a catalyst to strengthen the College of Business Administration and shape its future, says COBA Dean Daniel Himarios. The money will create the Goolsby Leadership Academy and Goolsby Distinguished Professorships.

The anonymous gift was given in honor of UTA alumnus John Goolsby and his wife, Judy.

"The Goolsby gift presents a terrific opportunity for the College of Business to leverage its resources and make big strides toward the goal of excellence in both faculty and students," Dr. Himarios said. "We're confident that others will follow Judy's and John's commitment to excellence by investing in a program that will make a real difference for our students and turn potential into reality."

Half of the $2 million will establish the academy, and half will fund four John and Judy Goolsby Professorships. These professors will be involved in the academy.

Selected students will take five courses together in the academy during their junior and senior years and will be assigned mentors from the COBA Advisory Council and other business leaders. They also will participate in lectures, meetings, trips and an expanded curriculum. The students will begin their studies in 2004.

Interest collected on the gift is expected to generate approximately $50,000 a year in scholarships. "We're going to attract students with high potential and who have shown excellence in their studies," said Himarios, who added that COBA will match the scholarship funding for the first five years. "We want to attract and maintain a high caliber of students who we can mold into business leaders."

Himarios said COBA has promised to match the professorships funding dollar for dollar and the academy gift at a ratio of 2 to 1. The matching gifts will account for an extra $3 million—$2 million for the academy and $1 million for the professorships. Over the next few years, the professorships that are initially funded at $250,000 will become $500,000 endowed chairs.

As part of the fund-raising effort, contributors may have their names attached to a chair. For example, if someone named Smith donates $250,000 toward the $500,000 total, the chair might be called the Goolsby-Smith Endowed Chair. Himarios said the Goolsbys agreed to the approach so others could have "the opportunity to feel that they are part of it," he said.

"It's a big challenge for us because the gift really has the chance to change the face of the college and support research in the college."

The first step will be to select individuals for the professorships, which likely will be accomplished this fall. Then COBA will have the better part of a year to recruit students and finalize details about the academy.

In addition to earning his B.B.A. in accounting here in 1964, Goolsby also has served on the UTA Development Board and is a lifetime member of the UTA Alumni Association. His affiliation with UTA has inspired him to advance the school's profile, said Mark Martin, vice president for development. "He wants to make a difference and challenges others to do the same," Martin said.

"UTA is so fortunate to have so many wonderful alumni, both in North Texas and around the country—and around the world. John has always loved this university."

Now the University is reaping the benefits.

– Laura Hanna

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