The University of Houston’s ambitious goals become possible with investments from our alumni and friends who support our Top 50 priorities. Gifts that help us attract and retain inspiring teachers, noted scholars and groundbreaking researchers – or recruit and retain students with merit and also need – create a pathway to excellence and success, ensuring that the University community is one where great minds learn, create, grow and study together.

Funding an endowment is one of the most far-reaching acts of philanthropy because an endowed fund provides sustaining support in perpetuity. It is a permanent tribute to the person whose name it bears, and a sound investment in the future.

An endowment is a permanent source of funding, in which the principal amount stays intact while the generated interest provides a consistent stream of income to be used for purposes designated by the donor.

Enter Your Initial Gift Amount:

Years Elapsed


Cumulative Earnings:
Cumulative Payouts:
Ending Value:
Payout In Year :


A few years ago, we unveiled an ambitious plan to expand our research footprint by getting laser focused and strategic. We identified areas of strength where we already were strong and then started investing in them by recruiting additional researchers and giving them the tools to collaborate. This strategy was quickly embraced by a visionary donor who wished to remain anonymous but donated $50 million to help us raise another $50 million to endow chairs and professorships. In subsequent years, other donors answered the call and at this point, we have 21 endowments to attract the best of the best to the University of Houston. Our efforts are paying off, and we have seen a 53% growth in federal research expenditures by our faculty in the last five years alone.

Most of the increased funding has come in the areas of health and energy, reaffirming our attention to our key initiatives or what I like to call our “big rocks.” In addition, our researchers have always performed very well in the area of education, securing big grants from the Department of Education, and they continue to do so. We will also continue to see increased funding from NIH, as our medical school matures and starts to establish its own research agenda.

It is a new and bold era of research for the University of Houston. Faculty drive academic success and, of all the honors that can be bestowed upon a professor, an endowed chair or professorship is among the highest. The prestige and freedom to conduct creative, innovative research these funds provide is an ideal tool for advancing our university — and world-changing discoveries.

Supporting Boundless Discovery

Giving researchers an accurate map of our land via laser mapping, generating safe and sustainable offshore energy, and changing the way the world thinks about immigration is a snapshot of what our expert faculty are exploring at the University of Houston. Our reputation for surpassing the status quo is based, in large part, on the incredible research and study undertaken by our expert faculty each and every day. Just imagine the in-roads of innovation and discovery that can happen if our faculty are equipped with the tools and resources to venture further and beyond.

Attracting and Retaining Inspiration

This is why endowed chairs and professorships are so important. They are the highest honor faculty members can receive, serving as a lasting tribute to the donor and the person whom the donor may wish to honor. These endowed positions propel cutting-edge research, advance teaching and create opportunities for collaboration with scholars around the world. To continue fueling this think-tank, it is vital that we support our faculty in their endless pursuit of knowledge and discovery.

In the case of endowed chairs and professorships, income from endowed gifts underwrites the faculty member’s salary and associated costs, such as research expenses, graduate fellowships, lab equipment, etc. The endowment will maintain a payout rate of approximately 4% to 5%, with any change to this range to be approved by the Board of Regents. The payout rate will be based as a percentage of the fiscal year end market value average over rolling twelve quarter periods.

Faculty Position Endowment Minimum
Aspire Chair* $2 million
Chair $1 million
Aspire Professorship* $1 million
Professorship $500,000
College Professorship $250,000

* These endowment minimums may increase on September 1, 2024.

Scholarships Endowment Minimum*
Scholarships $25,000
Graduate Student Fellowships $50,000

* These endowment minimums may increase on September 1, 2024.

Our students matter. Scholarships matter.

Achieving their dreams. Making the impossible possible.

The University of Houston is home to nearly 47,000 students who come from all over the nation and from over 140 countries. In our mission to help students thrive at the University of Houston, we have made student success a no-excuse priority. To this end, we aim to ensure that all students, regardless of financial or family background, graduate from college. We work diligently to break down barriers that prevent students from receiving a Tier One education. First and foremost is the financial hardship, which we address by increasing scholarship funds, reducing lost credit hours and freezing tuition rates. Despite inflationary pressure, the average debt carried by students at the time of graduation has decreased.

Scholarships help support financial aid packages so that students have the necessary resources to enroll and succeed. With this support, students can achieve their educational goals while focusing energies on their studies. In fact, studies conducted by UH show 87% of scholarship recipients stay at the university and have higher grade point averages in general.

Endowments provide stability to scholarship programs because the principal gift is retained to produce income on an annual basis, in perpetuity. Only a portion of the annual investment return is used for a scholarship award. The rest of the investment yield is returned to the principal, and over time, the fund grows. Endowing a scholarship is an excellent way to ensure your legacy at UH because we hold the principal of your gift in perpetuity.


Individuals can set up multiple scholarships at the $100,000 level, and each one can be named after the donor or donor designee. For example, if a donor chooses to give five merit scholarships for matching, each one can be named as the “Donor (or donor designee name) Distinguished Scholar.”

As authorized by the University of Houston Board of Regents, the University will match the income distribution for recruitment scholarships at 100% for a period of 10 years ending August 31, 2031, for endowments funded with a minimum of $100,000. For endowments over $500,000, only income generated from the first $500,000 will be matched.


In 2009, the Texas Legislature established the TRIP match to amplify the impact of private gifts for the enhancement of research productivity and faculty recruitment. TRIP is implemented through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and includes matching funds for endowed chairs and professorships.

Endowed chairs and professorships may be eligible for a matching gift by the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP). The gift must be made in a minimum payment of $100,000 and be designated exclusively for research purposes. The match is provided in three categories:

50% Match Cash gift of $100,000 to $999,999
75% Match Cash gift of $1 million to $1,999,999
100% Match Cash gift of $2 million to $10 million

To learn more about making an endowment gift, please contact Russell Dunlavy, Senior Associate Vice President for University Development, at 713-743-4209.