“With this gift, we will help prepare University of Houston students to thrive in the global marketplace. Strong faculty leadership is paramount to the University’s success. This new wave of outstanding faculty will build upon the University’s already exceptional faculty. We believe that this investment will continue the process of motivating students and benefit our great city of Houston through work in the classrooms, institutes and labs.”


“The $100 Million Challenge will usher in a new era for the University and serve as a catalyst for unparalleled Growth, redefining our idea of what is possible for our University, our city, and the world.”


President, University of Houston


The University of Houston launched in 2019 a transformational initiative to propel our academic enterprise to unprecedented levels of distinction. Funded by an anonymous donor, the $100 Million Challenge is a matching fund that encourages the UH community to contribute to the University’s bold future in research and scholarship.  Gifts, combined with a one-to-one match from the anonymous donor and potential matching funds from the state, will enable the University to increase the number of endowed chairs and professorships, fueling our learning environment through heightened knowledge, innovation and discovery in areas with world-wide impact.


The new endowed chairs and professorships created through the $100 Million Challenge will lead the University’s research and curriculum development in the following areas:

  • Health Care Innovation
  • Energy Transition Institute
  • Resilient Infrastructure and Smart Cities
  • Global Engagement


The anonymous donor will match all eligible gifts up to $50 million (for a total of $100 million) that create permanently endowed chairs and professorships in fields that address societal challenges. For every $2 million given to endow a new chair, or for every $1 million given to endow a new professorship, that gift will be doubled by a match from the anonymous donor. With state-based matching programs like the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP) and the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI), every $2 million donation could mean up to $10+ million in total impact.

Participation in the $100 Million Challenge will position the University to remain a central driver in delivering purposeful and deliberate research output that engages students and the greater community, boosts economic development and improves the quality of life for all, especially the underserved.  The University will be able to cultivate an enriched learning environment, attracting top talent and engaging students in distinct areas that affect our region and beyond.

Olivia Thompson
Chief Principal Gifts Officer
Phone: 713-743-8026
Email: onthompson@uh.edu

Investing in Areas of Strength

The new endowed chairs and professorships created through the $100 Million Challenge will build upon the University’s current strengths, support our ability to recruit renowned faculty and expand thought leadership around four complex, global issues that uniquely underpin the social, political and economic future of Houston and the world.

HWG institute-1

Energy Transition Institute

Sustainable development of energy will require viable energy generation solutions. New faculty will drive the University’s focus on enablers like efficient energy transmission, new grid technologies and energy storage. Faculty will educate students on effective methods for managing carbon emissions and optimizing energy sources from wind, waves, solar and hydrocarbons, which will be critical for ongoing global development.

HWG institute-2

Health Care Innovation

Precision medicine can transform society only if it can be translated and applied to a broad population. New faculty will develop a greater understanding of how advances in genomics, proteomics and drug delivery can impact specific population groups. These leading faculty will engage students in determining real-world solutions for today’s most prevalent health challenges.

HWG institute-3

Resilient Infrastructure and Smart Cities

Good infrastructure is a critical challenge for the continued economic growth of the nation. New faculty will research, develop and deploy new technologies and systems for renewal, optimization and automation efforts. They will educate students on how these emerging technologies will enhance local and global economies and quality of life for all citizens.

HWG institute-4

Global Engagement

The University is dedicated to ensuring its students are positioned to navigate the world effectively as global citizens and to interact with other cultures and emerging economies. New faculty will be experts in global engagement and will develop effective methods to help students understand global systems and appreciate cultural diversity.

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