Dean Zayas’s summer Texas tour
When it comes to seeing the state of Texas, Dean Luis H. Zayas has covered a lot of ground. From McAllen to El Paso to Amarillo, he has visited most of the state’s major metropolitan areas. But what he felt he was missing was all of the famous “wide open spaces” in between.
Thus, the Zayas Texas tour was born: three different trips covering different areas of the state, some more wide open than others. While the scenery and small town charm lived up to the former New Yorker’s expectations, it was seeing the shared sense of pride in being a UT Austin alumni that truly shined… no matter the town population size!
To see more pictures and to let us know if you want to be on the 2016 tour: #zayastexastour
“You can always do more”
John and Jennifer Gates Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
John and Jennifer Gates have been committed to their communities for a long time but according to John (MBA ‘89), “you can always do more.”
When their youngest daughter, Jordan, chose social work as her career path, they were thrilled. “UT has meant a lot to us as a family and the School of Social work has been a big part of that,” John says.
When asked why they created this endowment, they answer that social workers are critical to filling gaps that philanthropy and systems sometimes can’t.
“There are billions of people in the world that need help…that’s a lot of work and we might as well get started! With this scholarship, I’d like to think there is one more social worker every four years than there might have otherwise have been. We can never have enough of them. I love the tagline ‘What Starts Here Changes the World,’ and we want to be a part of that.”
Leaping towards a legacy
Ashbrook-Teague Trust Graduate Fellowship in Social Work
Bob Teague (MSSW ’93) and his husband, Dan Ashbrook, have dedicated a percentage of their estate through their living trust to support social work students working with older adults, a passion of both of them.
“We wanted to leave some kind of philanthropic legacy, and through estate planning we could amp up what we could accomplish. And for people who are in a situation like we are, where we will not be parents, it is an additional way to leave something behind. And of course, I want to support the School of Social Work,” Bob says.
“Planned giving is a great opportunity to leave a legacy,” says Laura Wells, director of development. “It can be quite simple and in most cases, can be changed over the years depending on the evolving needs of one’s family. A planned gift makes easier to commit a much larger and impactful gift than many of us could afford in our lifetime.”
Why I Give
Ramón Gómez (MSSW ’01) says that as a kid, whether volunteering at church or giving time at school functions, it was always ingrained in him that it was important to give back.
“It was a responsibility,” he says.
“In my job, I hear prospective graduate students talk about the daunting amount of debt they have accrued,” he adds. “And yet, they are still willing to take on more knowing that a graduate degree will give them more opportunities. I feel pretty fortunate that people invested in me, and while I don’t give thousands of dollars, every little bit goes a long way to ensuring the success of someone else.”