UT-Austin Moody College celebrates 5-year anniversary of its naming

Hannah Ortega

This month marked the five-year anniversary of the Moody Foundation’s $50 million donation to the Moody College of Communication.

Last Wednesday, the college’s dean, Moody Foundation trustee Ross Moody, communication students and more gathered in the Belo Center for New Media for an anniversary celebration featuring free t-shirts, Tiff’s Treats and the Longhorn Band. The gift gave the school its name and provided new resources, support systems and opportunities, Moody College dean Jay Bernhardt said.

“The Moody Foundation gift to UT was transformational for the Moody College of Communication,” Bernhardt said in an email. “The endowments created by the gift allowed us to recruit and support the very best faculty, staff and students, to establish our first ever four-year honors program, to start and grow several new innovative and cross-cutting centers and institutes, and … to dramatically increase our support for undergraduates through scholarships and graduate students through fellowships.”

The donation was announced Oct. 21, 2013, and the college was officially named on Nov. 7, 2013. The Moody Foundation, formed by Galveston’s prominent Moody family, gifted the communication college with the money after previously providing $2 million for UT3D, a 3D film production program.

“Through (the $2 million) gift, the Moody Foundation learned that the college of communication was already one of the best in the country and that their gift could help it rise to an even higher level of excellence,” Bernhardt said.

The Moody Foundation has also been tied to several newspapers and well-known reporters such as CBS evening anchor Walter Cronkite, which explains their decision to support a communication school, Bernhardt said.

“The Moody Foundation is proud to support Moody College in their excellent work training the next generation of communication leaders and innovators,” Ross Moody said in an email. “The foundation trustees have been very impressed with how far the college has come in the last few years, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship into the future.”

Bernhardt said the Moody name has raised the college’s profile at UT, across Texas and the country. For advertising senior Gabriella Martinez, the moniker is a symbol of interconnectivity.

“Moody to me means being connected to resources that you otherwise wouldn’t have at any other college,” Martinez said. “I guess as a senior, it’s meaning more and more being able to get a job through those resources and the network.”