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Culture / Newsy

Secret Donor Gives $4 Million to University of Houston, the Largest Single Donation in School History

The Latest Smash Big Money Gift is All About UH’s Creative Writing Power

BY // 09.17.18

The University of Houston’s football team might have lost to Texas Tech on Saturday but the university on the whole won big on Monday with announcement of another major seven-figure gift. An anonymous donor has come forward with $4 million for the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences‘s (CLASS) Creative Writing Program and other initiatives.

It is the single largest donation in the history of the college.

“The University of Houston is fortunate to exist in a community where individual donors want to be stakeholders in everything we do to enhance the academic experience for our students,” dean Antonio D. Tillis said in a statement.

Students and alumni of the creative writing program have had book-length works and collections supported by a wide range of publishers including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Graywolf Press, St. Martin’s Press, Penguin Press and more. The prestigious graduate program is so popular that hundreds from around the world apply each year. Yet, admission is limited to 20 new students.

This appears to be the time of giving for the University of Houston. In July, an anonymous donor gifted $3 million to cover full tuition for the inaugural class of the university’s medical school, which opens its doors in 2020. In December of last year, Gerald Hines, after already contributing $9 million over the years to the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, added another million to the kitty. Earlier in 2017, the John P. McGovern Foundation donated $20 million to the College of the Arts and in the summer of 2016 Tilman Fertitta pledged $20 million to UH Athletics.

These gifts contribute to the university’s ambitious $1 billion “Here We Go” campaign, which appears to be not so ambitious at all. As of late August, 154,822 donors had committed $905.6 million toward that milestone figure.

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