By now, you have probably heard the good news. Thanks to a generous gift from Steve Hicks, vice chairman of the Board of Regents at The University of Texas System and a pioneer in telecommunications, we are now the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. You may be wondering what this means. Well, it means,
- That we are recognized for 67 years of social work education at the flagship university of the UT System.
- That someone who is not a social worker respects our profession and values the positive change that you are making in your communities.
- That we received one of the largest gifts to a public university school of social work to date.
- That we are only named public university school of social work in the top 25 universities in the nation.
- That our standing as a top-ranked school of social work is no longer the best-kept secret on campus.
None of these would have been possible without you and the work you continue to do every day. As Mr. Hicks said in his remarks the day of the announcement, “We are sitting here on this beautiful day, but it is not a beautiful day for everyone. We have people in this very community that are suffering from addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence… the people who are holding their hands and helping them are social workers. And we train, from what I’ve learned, the best social workers certainly in this state, and maybe even in the country. For that, I express my appreciation and I really look forward to being a part of that legacy.”
The gift of $25 million — which will grow to $30 million through a matching program — will significantly expand the financial support offered to master’s students because, as he said, “they’re heroes.” His gift will also enhance the training our school offers in the field of addictions and recovery. And it will train social workers and others in fundraising and philanthropy.
Again, none of these would have been possible without you. I am grateful for every one of you, for the difference you make in the world, and I am excited about what we will accomplish together in the future.
Luis H. Zayas, PhD
Dean and Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy
Steve Hicks School of Social Work.