ExxonMobil Foundation Gives UH $386K

It's safe to say that 2008 was a good year for ExxonMobil. Thanks to the corporation's  employee gift matching program, it also was a good year for the University of Houston, which will receive a check today worth $385,891 from the corporation's charitable arm.

Gerald McElvy, the ExxonMobil Foundation's president, and John Podraza, regional controller for the Americas at ExxonMobil Production Co., officially will hand over the donation to UH President Renu Khator and Provost John Antel at 3 p.m. today. This year's check reflects an increase of about $75,000 from a year ago, according to McElvy.

"The continuing financial support from the people of ExxonMobil is made even more significant thanks to the company's policy of tripling those already generous gifts," said Khator.

ExxonMobil and its employees, retirees, surviving spouses and directors donated more than $36 million to 900 U.S. colleges and universities through the foundation's 2008 Educational Matching Gift Program, started in 1962. More than 8,500 individual contributions totaling more than $11 million to institutions of higher education were matched by the foundation with more than $25 million in unrestricted educational grants. 

Seventy-three Texas institutions received $8.33 million.

"These donations are a remarkable testament to the value ExxonMobil employees and retirees place on higher education," said McElvy, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from UH in 1975. "We're investing in the future, campus by campus, by providing these much-needed dollars for colleges and universities to increase their level of excellence."

Through the matching program, donors may pledge up to $7,500 per year to colleges or universities with which they are affiliated, the American Indian College Foundation, the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation and the United Negro College Fund.  Donations are matched on a 3-to-1 basis.

"The ExxonMobil program is the premier corporate matching-gift program in the country for the benefit of higher education," said Michael Rierson, vice president for university advancement at UH.  "The University of Houston is grateful for the continued investment in the future of our students, faculty and programs by ExxonMobil employees and retirees."

To date, Exxon Mobil's various contributions to the University of Houston System, including matching gifts, total about $14.8 million.   

"ExxonMobil Foundation funds math and science programs to respond to the nation's growing need to produce more engineers and scientists and to develop more highly qualified math and science teachers.  Although matching funds are unrestricted, the foundation is encouraging college and university presidents to direct a portion of the matching funds to programs that provide math and science teachers with professional development, attract more young people to teach math and science, and support programs that encourage women and minorities to become scientists and engineers," McElvy said.


About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities.  UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.


About the Exxon Mobil Foundation

ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States.  The Foundation and the corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations.  In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Since its inception, the matching program has provided $398 million to higher education institutions in the United States.  Additional information on ExxonMobil's community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.

For more information about UH, visit the university's Newsroom at http://www.uh.edu/news-events/