The University of Texas at Dallas joins the ranks of named business schools across the nation in honor of the generosity of three alumni who contributed an unprecedented combined gift of $30 million. Theirs is the largest alumni gift in the University’s history.
The School of Management will now be known as the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The Management Honors Program will be known as the Charles and Nancy Davidson Honors Program.
The gifts come in tandem with approval by The University of Texas System Board of Regents of a $20 million funding program to build an addition to the School of Management. The addition will add approximately 100,000 gross square feet to the school’s existing building. The project will include classrooms, seminar rooms, classroom laboratories, student support space and offices.
“The gifts and the matching funds played a very important role in making the building addition possible,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel. “This support came together all at once and represents a major investment in the school on multiple fronts.” The total value of these investments in the school is $50 million.
The Board of Regents also approved naming the school and the school's honors program in honor of the donors.
“I have always been proud of my association with the University of Texas at Dallas, and I am proud of the education I received here,” said Naveen Jindal MBA’92. “It is my hope that this gift will continue to benefit the University, school, students and faculty for years to come.”
Jindal’s contribution, which includes a $5 million match from the UT System Board of Regents’ Research Initiative Fund and the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP, will be used to create new endowed chairs and support students through the creation of endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships. The gift will also establish the Naveen Jindal Institute for Indo-American Business Studies.
Jindal is chairman and managing director of Jindal Steel and Power Limited in his native India. His commitment to public service is also exemplified by his work as an elected member of Parliament of India, where he represents the state of Haryana.
He credits his experiences as UT Dallas Student Government president with kindling his later interest in government service in India. Jindal was named a UT Dallas Distinguished Alumnus in 2010.
A gift from Charles Davidson and Nancy Davidson of Houston is included in the overall total and also includes a $5 million match funded by TRIP and UT System Board of Regents’ Research Initiative Program. Charles Davidson earned a master’s in management and administrative sciences, and Nancy Davidson earned a bachelor’s in business and public administration, both in 1980.Their gift will support graduate students in business management by providing endowed fellowships and will support faculty by boosting funding for chaired positions.
“Naveen Jindal and Charles and Nancy Davidson, through their combined generosity, have given our students and faculty the encouragement that comes from having resources at hand and have given UT Dallas new ways to signal its excellence by lending their names to our school and the management honors program,” said President Daniel. “We are very grateful for their support today and for all the support they have shown through the years.”
“We are particularly proud to receive these gifts from three alumni,” said SOM Dean Hasan Pirkul. “Their actions speak volumes about how highly they value the experience they had at UT Dallas. We are both proud of their achievements and thankful for their generosity.”
In 2001, the Davidsons made a $1 million commitment for the construction of the existing management building. In 2006, they made another $1 million commitment establishing four endowed professorships.
Both Charles and Nancy were named Distinguished Alumni by UT Dallas in 2008. Charles is chairman and CEO of Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., an independent global oil and gas company with operations in the U.S., eastern Mediterranean and West Africa. Nancy has worked as a certified public accountant and taught accounting at The University of Texas at Tyler, and today is an active community volunteer.
“I’m especially touched to have the honors program named for us since I hold a bachelor’s degree from the school,” Mrs. Davidson said. “I hope our support continues to strengthen the school and UT Dallas, and inspires other alumni to play a role in its exciting future.” The Davidsons’ latest gift is designated to support management graduate students through a new endowed fellowship, and to elevate the four former Davidson Professorships to Davidson Chairs.
Like so many UT Dallas students of his time, Chuck Davidson pursued his graduate degree through evening classes while holding down a full-time job. “There’s no question,” he said. “I could not have moved to the level I’m at without UT Dallas.”