Big Bucks for UT

UT Austin College of Communication gets major investment and new name

UT Austin College of Communication gets major investment and new name

Belo Center for New Media on UT campus cropped
The Belo Center for New Media is part of the newly renamed Moody College of Communication at UT Austin. Photo courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication has been renamed the Moody College of Communication, thanks to a generous $50 million commitment from the Galveston-based Moody Foundation — the largest endowment for the study of communication of any public university in the nation.

With this monetary endowment, the newly christened college will support various projects to help place it among the country’s leading institutions for research and teaching in new media. The college is home to several departments, including advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism, and radio-television-film.

 With this monetary endowment, the college will support various projects to help place it among the country’s leading institutions for research and teaching in new media.

Ross Moody, a trustee of the Moody Foundation, said in a statement that his 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. 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 Moody Foundation provides grants primarily in its home base of Galveston but also in Austin and Dallas. It was founded by W.L. Moody Jr. and Libbie Rice Shearn Moody to provide gifts and grants to fund education, social services, children’s needs and community development. Today, many of the trustees and staff are third- and fourth-generation members of the Moody family.

The $50 million will go toward various initiatives, and each of the five departments will receive a $1 million endowment to support department leaders and curricular development. Up to $13 million will double the amount of funding currently available for graduate student recruiting.

The rest of the investment will support undergraduate curricular work, research and outreach centers, and enhancing classroom space and facilities. An additional $5 million will go toward refurbishing portions of the Jesse H. Jones Complex, adding three new lecture halls in the Communication B Building and adding a pedestrian bridge between the Jones Complex and the Belo Center for New Media.

Dean Rod Hart expressed his appreciation for the gift, saying that it will “transform all areas of the Moody College and continue to serve the people of Texas."