Ransom Center exceeds capital campaign goal
In 2006, The University of Texas at Austin embarked on an ambitious, eight-year capital campaign with a goal of raising $3 billion to increase its national competiveness. As part of the University's effort, the Ransom Center established its own campaign, Culture Unbound: An Investment in Discovery, with a goal of $15 million to strengthen its collections, enhance its curatorial capacity, increase opportunities for scholarship and study, develop new exhibitions and programs, and expand its technology capabilities. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, foundations, and corporations, the Center has surpassed its goal more than two years before the campaign officially ends in August 2014.
"Despite challenging economic conditions, the Ransom Center has been able to fulfill many of our campaign priorities," said Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley. "I am delighted that we were able to reach the goal, but our work to maintain excellence is an ongoing task. We have had outstanding leadership from our Advisory Council, and I am deeply grateful for their generosity and commitment to the Center."
Staley cited several examples of capital campaign gifts that included grants to acquire the archive of Nobel Prize–winner and University of Texas graduate J. M. Coetzee, the addition of several key curatorial and conservator positions, an increase in the number of endowments, and a grant to enhance the undergraduate internship program.
"One of our capital campaign goals was to increase support for our exhibition programming, allowing us to share our collections with a broader audience," Staley said. "Our spring 2012 exhibition, The King James Bible: Its History and Influence, saw record-breaking crowds. We attribute the increase in visitors, in part, to initiatives supported from capital campaign gifts."
Advisory Council members Lynne Bentsen of Houston and Tom Borders of Austin are co-chairs of the Ransom Center's capital campaign.
"The success of the Ransom Center's campaign is a direct reflection on the quality of the collections, the exhibitions, the staff, and the impeccable reputation that the Center has worldwide," said Bentsen. "It is exciting to see these gifts in action whether it is for acquisitions, programming, or technology. Investments made now will ensure that future generations of students, scholars, and the public will have access to these cultural treasures."