The Impact of a Gift Speaks Volumes At the University of Houston, it is Loud and Clear.

Since the start of its ambitious “Here, We Go” Campaign, UH has raised more than $823 million of its $1 billion goal.* Of the 151,000-plus donors who have participated in the campaign so far, 85 percent have given $1,000 or less—giving muscle to the power of giving, at every level.

The example demonstrated by these donors and friends—many of whom are alumni—plants the seed to provide vast opportunities, empower minds, unlock new discoveries and heighten the quality of learning for students who ultimately will transform the world.

And this is only the beginning.

The University is poised to build on its promise to ensure the success of its students and the community in the future. This includes the launch of the new College of Medicine, creating a new Center for Student Success at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and attracting high-achieving students and faculty to the nationally recognized Honors College.

“Here, We Go”... reaching further and farther.

Philanthropy Matters for Faculty and Students

UH Alumnus Gives Hospitality a New Meaning at Hilton College

A visionary leader is all it takes to inspire people to a great undertaking.

Recently appointed Regent Doug Brooks (’75) believes that President Renu Khator and Dean Dennis Reynolds of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management both display that type of visionary leadership—and that galvanizing Hilton College’s leadership in the hospitality industry is an endeavor worth investing in.

“The UH Center for Student Success will propel forward one of the greatest programs for hospitality in the world.”

- Regent Doug Brooks (’75)

He and his wife, Holly, gave $1 million through their family foundation to create the Hilton College’s Center for Student Success (CSS), and in that way, became visionary and generous leaders themselves. “Let’s make this happen!” says Brooks excitedly of the new Center for Student Success.

Hilton College students thank Doug and Holly Brooks for their generous gift to the CSS.

Brooks refers to the CSS as a “visual marketing spot”—where students can visit the first day they attend classes; alumni can gather; and hotel guests and college-related personnel can interact, bring about new ideas and generate even more industry greats.

Brooks feels that President Khator is a major factor in UH’s recent success. “I went to a ‘Here, We Go’ Roadshow event in Dallas where Khator spoke about the $1 billion campaign, and I was blown away!” says Brooks.

Student volunteers after a long day assisting those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Cougar Emergency Fund Exceeds $1.25 Million for Harvey Relief

Since the Hurricane Harvey devastation in August 2017, the UH Cougar Emergency Fund (CEF) has received over $1.25 million in Harvey-specific donations from over 800 generous individuals and institutions. So far, funds have been distributed to over 500 students in crisis—and the support continues.

Administered through the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, the fund has enabled UH students suffering from hurricane-related stress to continue their studies and to assist in their personal recovery. The heartfelt contributions have provided a much-needed lifeline to students in distress so they can continue on the path to academic success.

“During Hurricane Harvey, I was marooned in my apartment near NRG. I reached out to UH, and the Cougar Emergency Fund responded immediately. The whole experience made me proud to be part of the UH community. I felt truly supported.”

— Bernard Johnson (’15)
Graduate student in the College of Technology
Coca-Cola Foundation check presentation with President Renu Khator

Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship Gives First-Generation College Students a Chance to Succeed

A $200,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation is helping first-generation college students at the University of Houston become successful. By preventing minor setbacks that have the possibility of becoming major obstacles for first-generation students, this grant is working together with the University’s Urban Experience Program (UEP) to support a vulnerable population of UH students. The Coca-Cola scholars, 40 altogether, average a 3.0 GPA. Additionally, there is a 97 percent retention rate for students who have been awarded $1,125 per semester toward their studies.

“Receiving the Coca-Cola scholarship showed me that even this far from home where I felt like a small fish in a big pond, there are people paying attention to me and looking out for me.”

— Alana Mitchell (’21)
Ron and Jane Lerner donate generously to the Honors College.

Lerners Elevate Learning at the Honors College Through Generous Support

Rated among the Top 10 programs in the nation, the UH Honors College is committed to excellence in teaching and learning, and Honors students continue to demonstrate the lasting value of a rigorous, wide-ranging education based on great books and real-world challenges.

Ron and Jane Lerner were impressed with the Honors College experience of their son Jeff (’06) and wanted to ensure that those same learning opportunities would remain a hallmark of honors education at the University.

As parents of a son who attended UH Honors College, we knew the college offered students many learning opportunities. After recently joining a trip to Israel with the Honors College, we saw firsthand how important these opportunities can be to the educational experience.

— Ron and Jane Lerner

The purpose of their gift is to support students, faculty, staff and programs that enhance basic coursework with high-impact practices such as study abroad, service learning and undergraduate research. Thanks to the Lerner Family Scholarships, the Honors College will continue to enhance learning for UH students and cultivate success that lasts a lifetime.

“Training the next generation of physician leaders meets a clear and growing demand in Texas. A new medical school will complement, not compete, with other strong institutions already in place. We have an obligation to serve the city by responding to the economic, social and cultural issues affecting the quality of life in Houston.”

— Renu Khator, UH President

Philanthropy Matters for a Healthy Houston

UH College of Medicine to Provide Remedy to a Critical Need in Health Care

Focus will be on training primary care doctors for the underserved communities of Texas

With a class of 30 future physicians scheduled to start in fall 2020, the UH College of Medicine will fill a critical gap in health care that exists in many underserved areas in Houston, as well as in other parts of Texas.

The city has grown by more than four million people since its most recent medical school was founded in 1972. Large areas of the Greater Houston Region—and the entire state of Texas, particularly in rural areas—are suffering from an insufficient number of primary care physicians. UH wants to man the front lines of community health with highly-trained champions of preventative care.

UH is laying the foundation for its new College of Medicine—receiving academic authorizations, seeking legislative approvals and creating cutting-edge curriculum.

UH Health Building II

Health II Brings a Variety of Services Together

The new Health II, a multidisciplinary academic health care center housing the College of Pharmacy, as well as other health sciences research and outreach centers, will gather leading researchers and investigators from multiple areas in one setting.

A visual representation of a proposed classroom area in Health II

University of Houston is on track to create a healthy Houston, one of President Renu Khator’s top campaign priorities, by investing in this facility. The space has held classes for the College of Pharmacy since fall 2017.

Health II will be the future home of the College of Medicine until there is a dedicated space for that undertaking. The Health II also will strengthen UH’s relationships with collaborators—particularly Texas Medical Center institutions—facilitating opportunities for interaction and innovation.

Naming opportunities are available on every floor, including individual classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms and computer/study areas. Naming an area of one of the University’s newest facilities demonstrates that you believe that UH can turn the tide and create lasting health care changes for our community.

UH Law Center: Beyond Just Bricks and Mortar

Staying relevant in the law profession is key. The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) has three nationally ranked Top 10 programs—health law, part-time, and intellectual property law. It’s also a best value and most diverse law school, consistently placing its graduates in top firms across Houston and the nation.

But one thing will propel UHLC from a high national ranking to one of the top 25 law schools in the U.S.: a revitalized facility. A new law building will increase UH’s ability to recruit world-class faculty, attract the most promising law students and build stronger relationships between Houston’s leading industries and the Law Center.

A new courtroom with modern upgrades will enable local and national jurists to conduct judicial proceedings at the law school, enhance student learning and increase access to judicial clerkships. Technology upgrades will ensure the new building has the capability to support distance learning and expand UHLC’s relationships with industry leaders across the globe.

“Houston is the city of the future and soon to be the third largest city in the U.S. Now is the time to invest in making the UH Law Center a law school of the future, with a building that reflects the caliber of students and faculty within. We have the power.”

— Leonard M. Baynes, UHLC Dean

Philanthropy Matters for Professorship and Research

Universities Team Up to Address Hurricane Resilience

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms

At the Hurricane Resilience Research Institute (HuRRI), six participating universities focus on helping coastal areas to better prepare for and mitigate the damage and loss of lives from hurricanes.

UH HuRRI will help to better prepare Houston in the case of future hurricanes. (Photos of Hurricane Harvey: Getty Images)

The Institute includes universities located in states spanning the Gulf of Mexico: UH, which leads the institute, The University of Texas-Tyler, Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University, the University of Miami and the University of Florida.

Hanadi Rifai, director of HuRRI and Moores Professor in civil and environmental engineering, said the concept came together after multiple hurricanes plowed through Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The devastation illustrated the need to look at severe storms and their aftermath in a different way.

“Much attention has been paid to understanding how hurricanes form and move, but not on resilience of support functions, response and recovery.”

— Amr Elnashai, UH Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Internationally Renowned Pianist Develops Powerhouse Program at Moores School of Music

Nancy Weems, the Madison Endowed Professor of Piano, joined the Moores School of Music faculty in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts more than three decades ago. She came to work alongside her mentor, UH professor Abbey Simon. Since then, she has been instrumental in elevating the piano program. She prides herself in providing individual attention to her students and crafting unique goals for each student—and her efforts have paid off.

Her former students include active concert pianists, such as London-based Andrew Brownell (BM Piano ’00), who has won numerous international competitions, and Jay Peng Chieh Sun (BM Piano ’01), a Yamaha performing artist in China. Other former students include piano faculty at top universities and emerging artists, such as the 2017 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition winner Kenny Broberg (BM Piano ’16).

“I have wonderful graduates who are doing great things in the City of Houston and around the world. That’s what keeps me energized and keeps me excited about teaching every single day!”

— Nancy Weems, Madison Endowed Professor of Piano

Philanthropy Matters to Alumni

Fertitta Center: Elevating the Game-Day Experience

Hofheinz Pavilion was home of the Houston Cougars during the legendary Phi Slama Jama era. Hakeem Olajuwon (FS ’84) and his teammates slam-dunked their way to national acclaim during those golden years. The opening of Fertitta Center this fall 2018 will usher in a new beginning for the Houston men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams.

David (’89) and Jody (’78, M.Ed.’87) Marrs

Several naming opportunities followed the initial $20 million gift from Tilman Fertitta (’78). One such gift was contributed by David (’89) and Jody (’78, M.Ed.’87) Marrs to create the Marrs Family Walk of Champions.

This entranceway will elevate the game-day experience by allowing the team to enter by way of a grandiose path to the court. The student-athletes will feel the excitement generated by club level seating, and the space will contribute to a legacy of confidence and school spirit to the project.

This gift is personal to David. He was a four-year letterman of the UH men’s basketball team from 1972-1976 and served as co-captain of the team during his senior year.

“Here, We Go”… On the Road Again!

Last fall, the “Here, We Go” Roadshow took UH and President Khator on the road to increase awareness, provide updates and encourage support for UH in New York City, Dallas and Washington, D.C., where UH family and friends live. Following the public launch of UH’s $1 billion “Here, We Go” Campaign, the Roadshow brings the University’s ambitious mission to audiences nationwide, spreading excitement for UH’s future.

Join us this spring as we travel to California. The reception will engage you through an interactive program that fosters meaningful networking, access to information and school pride. As an added bonus, you’ll also hear from UH College of Medicine founding dean, Dr. Stephen Spann, who will share his vision for improving the current medical landscape and producing positive health outcomes via primary care. It is sure to be an evening you won’t want to miss!

Send your questions in advance to

“Here, We Go” Roadshow

Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

To RSVP and for more information, please visit