UT McCombs Alumni Give $25 Million to Build New Graduate Business School Building
A Dallas billionaire and his family have pledged $25 million to fund a new innovation-minded, 458,000-square-foot building to house graduate programs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, the school announced yesterday.
The gift, from Robert Rowling (BBA ’76) and his wife Terry Hennersdorf Rowling (BBA ’76), launches an effort to raise $58.25 million in donations, which, along with other institutional funds, will be required to complete a three-phase project to replace and renovate facilities used by the McCombs School of Business.
“My family and I are passionate about the state of Texas, the University of Texas and creating educational opportunities in our state. Texas is the best place in the country to do business,” Rowling said in a statement released by UT. “We hope this gift will encourage the best and the brightest to come to Austin to get their MBAs and be part of the phenomenon that is Texas.”
Robert B. Rowling Hall, scheduled to open in summer 2017, will feature flexible areas designed for collaborative learning and student engagement, technology to facilitate distance learning and private spaces to make it easier for students to work one on one with professors.
The new building will stand immediately west of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, on the northeast corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Guadalupe Street. It will expand the conference center’s teaching and meeting facilities by 50,000 square feet and add 525 parking spaces. Ennead Architects, an award-winning firm with experience in large-scale, academic construction projects, will design the new building, the school announced.
“Robert B. Rowling Hall will be truly transformative, enhancing the quality and reputation of our already highly esteemed graduate programs,” McCombs Dean Tom Gilligan said after the announcement.
Rowling is the owner and chairman of TRT Holdings, Inc., which includes the luxury Omni Hotels & Resorts chain and Gold’s Gym International among its investments. Previously a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, he was inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame in 2005.
Learn more about plans for the new Robert B. Rowling Hall at the McCombs School of Business.