School of Information Gets Major Gift Commitment from Former Texas Supreme Court Justice

May 31, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—Former Supreme Court of Texas Justice William Wayne Kilgarlin has made a major planned gift commitment to endow the teaching of conservation and preservation at The University of Texas at Austin School of Information. 

The William and Margaret Kilgarlin Faculty Fellows endowment will provide funding for nationally recognized leaders in conservation and preservation administration to teach at the university.

Kilgarlin's gift will supplement a previous $1 million gift commitment he made in 2004 to establish the William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record. The Kilgarlin Center fosters research and teaching excellence in preservation and conservation, and contributes significantly to the school's specialized education in archives and preservation, ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

"This gift will ensure the long-term future of education excellence in preservation and conservation at Texas," said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. "We are all enormously grateful for the support Judge Kilgarlin has provided for this important area, which is a unique strength of our program."

The gift is a reflection of Kilgarlin's lifelong passion for the arts, humanities and history. He and his late wife Margaret, who died in 2003, are known for their philanthropy and service to arts institutions and organizations in Houston and Santa Fe.

"The University of Texas at Austin excels in so many known areas," said Kilgarlin. "Its preservation and conservation program, while receiving national recognition, has been limited in expanding because of insufficient funding. Hopefully, this gift will enable the Kilgarlin Center to attract additional qualified faculty who will enhance the program even more."

Kilgarlin, a Houston native and graduate of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, was a successful plaintiff's attorney prior to his appointment as judge of the 215th District Court in Harris County in 1978. In 1983, he joined the Supreme Court of Texas and remained on the bench until 1988. Now a resident of Santa Fe, N.M., Kilgarlin works for Ikard Wynne & Ratliff LLP, an Austin firm.

In addition to his service as a district judge and Texas Supreme Court justice, Kilgarlin was an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University School of Law and was on the faculty of the Texas College of the Judiciary. In 1992-93, he was named court master to formulate a plan for equality in Texas public schools. The Central Texas American Civil Liberties Union named him Outstanding Texas Jurist in 1988.

For more information contact: Amy Maverick Crossette, School of Information, 512-573-1078; Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, 512-471-8287.