A University of Texas System regent and his wife have donated $25 million to UT-Austin’s highly ranked petroleum and geosystems engineering department, which henceforth will bear their name.
“Regent Jeff Hildebrand and Mindy Hildebrand have a very deep connection to our university that makes this gift so special,” UT-Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said. “It will provide significant resources for student and faculty innovation, along with cutting-edge teaching and research related to the oil and gas industry.”
The donation from the Hildebrand Foundation was announced Tuesday.
The couple have deep ties to the Austin campus. In addition to serving as a vice chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, Jeffery D. Hildebrand is chairman of the regents’ investment arm, the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Co., also known as UTIMCO, which oversees $41 billion in endowments and other assets for the UT and A&M systems. He received his master’s degree in petroleum engineering and bachelor’s degree in geology from UT-Austin. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co., a privately held oil and natural gas exploration and production firm.
Mindy Hildebrand earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the university’s McCombs School of Business and serves on its advisory board and the University Development Board. The Hildebrands have three children, two of whom currently attend UT-Austin.
“It is our hope that this gift will inspire the next generation of engineers, explorers and innovators to pursue an education and career in the petroleum industry,” the couple said in a joint statement.
The Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering is home to the nation’s No. 1-ranked petroleum engineering graduate program and the No. 2-ranked petroleum engineering undergraduate program, based on U.S. News & World Report’s most recent tabulations. The department is part of the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering.
“We are humbled that the Hildebrand family has trusted us with such a sizable investment in our future,” said Jon Olson, chairman of the department.