McCombs School of Business receives $5 million donation for graduate building

Adam Hamze

McCombs alumni Bob and Marcie Zlotnik announced a $5 million donation to aid the construction of a new graduate business building Wednesday. 

The University announced plans to build Robert B. Rowling Hall, the new graduate building, last year. The building will increase space for teaching and meeting facilities of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center and add 525 on-campus parking spaces. The building will be connected to the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center with a shared ballroom, which will be named after the Zlotniks.

According to Keary Kinch, alumni director for the McCombs School of Business, the construction of Rowling Hall is the first of a three-phase plan, initiated by McCombs dean Thomas Gilligan, to improve the business school. Phase one is to build the hall, phase two will involve renovating the two existing business school buildings, and the final phase will pull remaining McCombs classes out of the classrooms in the UTC building.

Marcie Zlotnik, who founded StarTex Power with her husband, said she hopes the family’s donation will be a catalyst for others to help fund education through donations.

“Education is the key to anyone’s success, and, the more of those who can put money back into it, the better everyone is going to be,” Zlotnik said.

In 2012, universities and colleges were given a total of $31 billion in charitable gifts to support their missions, according to the Council on Aid to Education. The University broke its record for most money raised in a fiscal year in 2012, raising a total of $396 million, one of the highest in the nation. 

Kinch said hte business school worked closely with the Zlotnik family — whose sons Kevin and Mitchell are current UT business students — to plan the donation.

“These gifts do not just fall out of the sky. The Zlotniks have been friends with the school for a very long time,” said Kinch.

Mitchell Zlotnik said he believes the new building will be important to the development of the school.

“The Robert B. Rowling Hall will open up classroom space and allow undergraduates to maximize their usage of the McCombs School of Business,” Mitchell said. “The ballroom will provide future students [with] a great place to congregate.”