The $100 MILLION CHALLENGE
CREATING A NEW ERA IN 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
In 2019, the University of Houston launched a transformational initiative to propel our academic enterprise to unprecedented levels of distinction. Founded by an anonymous donor, the Aspire Fund matches contributions 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 of Texas, will enable the University to recruit and retain the highest-quality faculty, fueling our learning environment through heightened knowledge, innovation and discovery in areas with world-wide impact.
“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.”
SUPPORTING BOUNDLESS INNOVATION
HOW THE CHALLENGE WORKS
The Aspire: $100 Million Challenge positions the University to be 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.
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 Aspire Fund. 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.
TEXAS RESEARCH INCENTIVE PROGRAM (TRIP)
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.
A gift, or pledge payment, must be made in a minimum payment of $100,000 and designated for research-related purposes. The distribution of TRIP matching funds is at the discretion of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is not guaranteed for every eligible gift.
The match is provided in three categories:
Category One: 50% cash gift for a match between $100,000 and $999,999
Category Two: 75% cash gift for a match between $1 million and $1,999,999
Category Three: 100% cash gift for a match between $2 million and $10 million