Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, founders of Houston energy company StarTex Power and alumni of The University of Texas at Austin, have pledged $5 million toward construction of the new graduate education building at McCombs School of Business, the school announced Tuesday.
In recognition of the gift, the ballroom in Robert B. Rowling Hall will be named the Zlotnik Family Ballroom. By connecting to the neighboring AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, the graduate business program and the conference center will have the capacity to host large-scale conferences and events as Austin continues to grow.
“Rowling Hall is going to make this university an even stronger, more vibrant place to learn,” says Bob Zlotnik. “We have waited for the opportunity to align our family with this project, which will provide a direct link between students, faculty members and business leaders.”
The school is in the midst of a campaign to raise $58 million in donations by early March, and the $5 million Zlotnik gift is a significant achievement in that endeavor. A gift of $25 million from Dallas businessman Robert B. Rowling and his wife, Terry Hennersdorf Rowling, also University of Texas alumni, launched the campaign to fund the construction of the new graduate business building.
“Fundraising for this ambitious project has reached the next level as people continue to come forward with generous gifts to support the plans for Rowling Hall,” says McCombs School of Business Dean Thomas W. Gilligan. “We look forward to the weeks ahead as more gifts are announced.”
The Zlotniks have two sons currently enrolled in the business school, and have previously donated $1 million to the McCombs School to establish a chair in entrepreneurship.
The decision to target $5 million for the ballroom at Rowling Hall was made as a family, the couple explains. “Teaching all our boys about giving back and getting involved is paramount to their success as future leaders,” says Marcie Zlotnik.