UNT Board of Regents chairman donates $30 million to College of Business, set to be renamed after him

UNT Board of Regents chairman donates $30 million to College of Business, set to be renamed after him

UNT Board of Regents chairman donates $30 million to College of Business, set to be renamed after him
February 04
16:58 2019

Brint Ryan, Chairman of the UNT System Board of Regents and a UNT alumnus and his wife Amanda have pledged to donate $30 million — the largest single monetary gift to UNT in school history — to the College of Business, which will subsequently be renamed the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, pending board approval.

The announcement was made by UNT President Neal Smatresk in a ceremony on Monday in the Business Leadership Building.

The Board of Regents will vote on whether or not to approve the name change next week.

Ryan, accompanied by his family, delivered a speech at the ceremony.

“Education is the great equalizer,” Ryan said. “It not only changes the lives of graduates, but it changes the lives of their entire families. Amanda and I believe that there is no greater investment that we can make. We’ve both lived it firsthand and are thrilled to be able to invest in the incredible mission of the UNT College of Business.”

UNT alumnus G. Brint Ryan talks to the community on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 about his reasons for donating $30 million to the College of Business, which will be renamed after him. Image by Trevon McWilliams.

Ryan and his wife pledged the donation last December, but began planning their investment two years prior. He said they hope the funds will attract competitive recruits and instructors to UNT’s business programs.

A UNT press release and an email from David Wolf, vice president for University Advancement, offered an outline of where the new funds will end up, beginning with $12 million going toward the appointment of new endowed positions.

“[The donation] is focused on giving the College of Business more resources to be more competitive in recruiting the top talent in taxation and accounting,” Ryan said. “What that does is give us the ability to be competitive across all universities. It gives us the ability to produce students that are at the very top of the industry.”

Ryan graduated from then North Texas State University in 1988. In 1991, Ryan founded and now serves as CEO for Ryan LLC, a tax consulting firm that is valued at around $1.1 billion as of 2018, according to the company’s website.

Research endowments for several areas like taxation, finance and behavioral accounting as well as other programs and scholarships will see an $18 million increase in funding.

“The gift is being paid over a seven year period,” Wolf said. “Thus in each year new and exciting opportunities will be provided. The gift will have an immediate impact on the prestige for the college and university due to the magnitude of the gift.”

Entrepreneurship senior Sarah Ponce offered her own ideas on where the donation funds should go.

“First and foremost, I’d like to see more scholarships for upperclassmen,” Ponce said. “I don’t feel like college gets any less expensive the older you get. I’m in an entrepreneurship class right now and we have to come up with business ideas. Maybe set up a program where students could submit their ideas and potentially be funded and produce their business.”

Other students praised the addition of Ryan’s name to the college’s title, including marketing senior Blake Ball.

“I love [the name change],” Ball said. “I feel like we will finally start to be regarded as equals to Neeley at TCU, Cox at SMU, Rawls at Tech and Hankamer at Baylor.”

Ryan shared a bit of advice for students wishing to follow in the CEO’s footsteps.

“Find that thing where your passion and skills and ability align with a real need,” Ryan said. “And at that nexus, that point where those two join, is where you can have great success.”

Featured Image: UNT’s G. Brint Ryan receives a certificate from President Neal Smatresk after giving a record-breaking $30 million donation to the College of Business. Image by: Trevon McWilliams. 

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Carter Mize

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