You Have a Part to Play

April 5, 2022

Dear Student Affairs Colleagues, 

We have a part to play — a big part. 

Last month, the university launched the What Starts Here fundraising campaign. Our collective goal is to raise $6 billion in donations over the next four years including $1 billion for student support. 

We’re an enormous university. If we were a city, we’d be around the 60th-largest in Texas. That size and scale gives us plenty of great opportunities to lean into our outstanding people, take advantage of our unique place and hone our transformative pursuits — the backbone of our university strategic plan. The What Starts Here campaign will be the fuel for our plan and will give our team the opportunity to help our students — some of our best and brightest people — unlock their greatest potential. 

Unlocking potential is a big, important and complicated endeavor. It means being ready, at any moment, to remove barriers and distractions. It means guiding students to our services, programs and events — each of which is designed to help them better understand themselves, gain new perspectives and become global citizens. 

I hope you’re proud of the work you do. Because it matters. You give students a place to realize who they are and whom they want to become. 

And with this campaign, we will be able to do even greater things. 

  • Our Division has already raised $24 million in contributions. Nearly $10 million of that is dedicated to scholarships, internships and stipends. We are helping bring students into the Longhorn family who otherwise could not join us. 
  • Our goal, as a Division, is to raise a total of $35 million. We’re well on pace to meet (and probably exceed) that incredible number. 
  • $5 million of this goal will be dedicated to the NOW Fund. The NOW Fund is the money we dedicate to direct student help, including emergency situations. 

Do you have a few moments? 

I’d like to ask you to do something for us. It will take about 45 seconds. 

  1. Copy this website address for our campaign: 
  2. Share it on your social media platforms, or drop it into an email to a friend, or text it to an alum you know. 
  3. You can even send it out in every email by adding a line in your email signature that says “Give to the Division of Student Affairs” and hyperlinking that to the web page above. (Please follow the university’s brand format for email signatures.) 

If we all do these things, there’s a good chance we’ll reach every corner of the globe quickly. (We really are a global institution, after all.) 

Thank you for your support. Thanks for your work, your resilience. As we approach our final stretch of this semester and head into summer — we’re ready to move into the next chapter of our story. We’re ready to build big, powerful things that make big, powerful change in the world. You’re a part of that — a big part. 

Hook 'em, 

Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students