We always knew our Texas colleges and universities were smart, but in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis we are learning about their compassion and commitment to their students, faculty, and communities. In just a few short weeks, these institutions and their staff have reinvented their curriculums, moved classes online, helped students find temporary housing, provided much-needed tech support and resources, and established emergency funds. We want to share how some of our clients and alma maters are helping and encourage you to follow the links provided to read more and offer your support.
The University of Texas at Austin
UT’s supercomputers are the world’s most powerful computing system and they have turned their efforts to stopping COVID-19. Their power is being used to better understand the virus and its spread, expose its underlying weaknesses, and fight back. Read more here. UT has setup a donation website for emergency funding for UT students. The President’s Office at UT is matching all gifts up the $2 million. All funds raised will be distributed across all UT colleges and schools.
“I know that there are many people in need right now. This is one way your generosity can have an immediate impact on UT students.” – Gregory L. Fenves, President
Alamo Colleges District
Each of ACD’s five colleges has a designated area in their parking lots where free wi-fi will be provided for students. ACD is offering extensions on payment plans and overdue balances, as well as eliminating late fees. They have also partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank to provide student support during this period of distance learning. ACD has established the COVID-19 Student Impact Fund, providing emergency resources for students who need temporary assistance.
“You’ve shown that nothing can stand in the way of your success, and we are standing with you. – Dr. Mike Flores, Chancellor
Austin Community Colleges
ACC has transitioned all classes and support services to a virtual environment. Technology has been distributed to students in need and a pass/no-pass grading option is in place now as well. ACC has expanded their Student Emergency Fund with a $150,000 goal which the ACC Foundation will match.
“This was not a change any of us could have expected at the start of this semester, but I’m proud of the resiliency of our Riverbat community.” – Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D., President/CEO
Texas A&M University
Aggies have been busy. Engineers have created a method for making protective medical masks. Their veterinary labs are distributing 2,000 COVID-19 sampling kits to hospitals across the state. And their student organization BUILD is converting shipping containers into medical clinics, sending them to hospitals to do COVID-19 testing. Click here to read more. The Texas A&M University Disaster Relief Fund, originally created to help following a wave of hurricanes, will support students suffering financial hardship during this time.
“Texas A&M is a public university. We’re also a major force for the public good…. Aggies always step forward to serve in times of great need.” – Michael K. Young, President
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Many alumni of UTSA asked how they can help their fellow Roadrunners. Through their Roadrunner Pantry and Whataburger Resource Room $5 can provide more than a week of meals for a student. The Student Emergency Fund offers grants to help students in times of need. And donors can make a gift to a Student-Led Crowdfunding Project to help students succeed.
“The UTSA community is strong and will make it through this as we always have: together.” – Heather Green, Director of Annual Giving
University of Houston
UH is utilizing their existing Cougar Emergency Fund which exists to help students meet urgent financial needs Every dollar donated will be matched, up to $500,000 by the UH Foundation and the James Wade Rockwell Fund.
“I am constantly impressed with how the University leadership and Cougar community have pulled together.” – Eloise Dunn Brice, Vice President, University Advancement
Texas Tech University
Red Raiders are helping out in many ways. A faculty group have created 3D-printed face shields and face masks for health care workers. Researchers have donated items from their laboratories. And a TTU researcher’s decontamination wipe invention could help clean up bodily fluids contaminated with the coronavirus. More on these stories found here. The university has setup the Red Raider Response Fund to help students during this time. This fund helped return home the TTU students studying abroad.
“We might not know what lies ahead, but we do know that as we continue to rally behind our students, together, we will emerge even stronger.” – Byron Kennedy, Vice President of Advancement
This is just a small sampling of what’s happening at our amazing higher education institutions across the state. There are numerous other stories to tell from a wide host of others who are stepping up during this unprecedented moment in history. It’s comforting to see bars getting raised for the greater good at such a time of need.