Moody Foundation Invests $50 Million in UT Austin College of Communication

Oct. 21, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — The Moody Foundation has announced a $50 million commitment to establish the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, resulting in the largest endowment for the study of communication of any public university in the nation.

The gift, among the largest ever awarded by the Moody Foundation, will support projects across the Moody College and is aimed to help position it as the nation's leading institution for research and teaching in new and convergent media.

"By making this gift, the Moody Foundation seeks to increase the presence of the university on a national and international basis and improve the quality of its education by recruiting the best professors, the best administration and in turn having the best students coming out of the Moody College of Communication," said Ross Moody, a UT Austin alumnus and trustee of the Moody Foundation. "It's a huge honor to have the Moody name attached to a college that is so well known around the state and nation."

The broad-based gift is composed largely of endowments that will support the following initiatives in the Moody College of Communication:

  • Innovation Fund ($10 million) — To establish an "idea fund" that will invest in new curricula, courses, online education, research and student activities.
  • Department Endowments ($5 million) — To provide a $1 million endowment for each of the college's five departments to support departmental leaders and course and curricular development.
  • Graduate Student Recruitment ($13 million) — To provide additional teaching and research fellowships for master's and doctoral students, more than doubling the amount of funding available for graduate students.
  • Undergraduate Curricular and Cocurricular Work ($7 million) — To support learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom, including student media projects, undergraduate research and student leadership organizations, and to create the Moody Scholars Program, an honors program for first- and second-year students.
  • Research and Outreach Centers ($10 million) — To create 10 $1 million endowments for the Moody College's research and community outreach centers: the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life; the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy; a new Health Communication Center; the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas; the Office of Survey Research; Reporting Texas; the Speech and Hearing Center; the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute; the Texas Program in Sports and Media; and the UT Film Institute.
  • Classroom Space and Facilities ($5 million) — To refurbish portions of the Jesse H. Jones Communication Complex, create three new lecture halls in the Communication B (CMB) Building, conference space and a new pedestrian bridge between the Belo Center for New Media and the Jesse H. Jones Complex. The university will provide an additional $5 million for this project.

"The Moody Foundation has made a transformative gift to The University of Texas at Austin," said Bill Powers, president of The University of Texas at Austin. "As the Moody College of Communication, this venerable and accomplished college is poised to become the nation's leading institution for communication scholarship and education. It is an honor to welcome this great Texas family into the pantheon of the university’s most historically important donors."

A celebration will take place on campus Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. with speakers including Moody, Powers and Roderick P. Hart, dean of the Moody College of Communication.

"The college is tremendously grateful for this investment from the Moody Foundation," Hart said. "The Moody name provides instant credibility to the college by providing a brand that's powerful and sustaining. This is truly a legacy gift that will transform all areas of the Moody College and continue to serve the people of Texas."

The Moody Foundation is a charitable organization that makes grants primarily in Austin, Galveston and Dallas, with an emphasis on education, social services, children's needs and community development. The Moody Foundation was created by Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Moody Jr. to benefit in perpetuity present and future generations of Texans.

About The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication
One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, it is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and teaching. For more information about the Moody College of Communication, visit

For more information, contact: Laura Byerley;  Nicolas Hundley, Moody College of Communication, 512-471-7209.

13 Comments to "Moody Foundation Invests $50 Million in UT Austin College of Communication"

1.  Rick Cherwitz said on Oct. 21, 2013

Congratulations Dean Hart on this historic gift—and thanks to the Moody Foundation for investing in what we believe is the nation’s best college of communication (students and faculty)!

2.  Angelica basilio said on Oct. 21, 2013

Congrats & great job to the moody foundation for investing on this great project!

3.  Glynnis Johnson said on Oct. 21, 2013

Congratulations to Hart and UT. Proud to be a TexasEx!

4.  Paula Galbraith said on Oct. 21, 2013

What a tremendously generous gift to the University, the College of Communication and students. Sincere gratitude from a Comm Major's parent. Thank you, Moody Foundation!

5.  Amy Garmer said on Oct. 21, 2013

Kudos to the Moody Foundation for recognizing top caliber talent in the students & faculty at UT's College of Communication.

6.  JD "Southie" Sutherland said on Oct. 21, 2013

Congratulations to long-time friend Dean Hart. What a great achievement for UT and future communications students. Judy

7.  Kevin Tuerff said on Oct. 21, 2013

We live in a world where many global health, environment and social problems could be solved with better communications. This tremendous gift by the Moody Foundation will train future leaders to change the world. Congratulations, Dean Hart and Mike Wilson. Hook 'em!

8.  Kathy Keanini said on Oct. 21, 2013

Very proud to be an alum at this moment and always. Fantastic! @kathykeanini

9.  Debbi Smith Rourke said on Oct. 21, 2013

Fabulous news! Congratulations. This gift from the Moody Foundation to the College of Communications is certainly poised to make a significant impact, and in so many areas.

10.  Peter Y. H. Chen, Ph.D. said on Oct. 22, 2013

My wholehearted congratulations to my alma mater's leading College of Communications on receiving such a generous and significant gift from the Moody Foundation. Best wishes for the future success of all the initiatives to be supported by this College in terms of its ethos, pathos, and logos on an international basis! ~voice from Taiwan

11.  Gabriela Peña said on Oct. 22, 2013

Congratulations! I am eager to see all the great things that the College of Communications will do with this donation. It will surely help faculty and students to keep changing the world.

12.  Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist said on Oct. 28, 2013

Am so excited about this. Can't wait to hire your interns.

13.  Craig Carroll said on Oct. 28, 2013

An exciting day for faculty, students, staff, and alumni of the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin. An important one for the field of communication. Congratulations, all.