In fall 2008, Beverly and Will O’Hara, BBA ’68, pledged $16 million to the McCombs School of Business in support of a wide range of strategic goals. The O’Hara’s gift represents the largest single contribution to the school since Red McCombs’ $50 million naming gift in 2000. Together with the O’Haras, a growing number of alumni and friends have pledged to support the McCombs School through financial or estate planning. Planned gifts make a powerful and lasting impact on future generations of Longhorns while providing you with tax benefits and a reliable lifetime income.
Will O’Hara earned his BBA from McCombs in 1968 and is a former part-time lecturer in the Department of Accounting. Beverly is a devoted Longhorn supporter who says she “bleeds orange.” Both are deeply committed to higher education. After successful careers in retail and financial services, the O’Haras wanted to help transform the lives of young students.
“Higher education is expensive, and there are so many young people with a lot of potential who simply cannot afford it,” says Beverly. “When you give something back to the university, you give someone the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”
In keeping with the school’s campaign priorities, the O’Hara’s gift will support student scholarships and faculty endowments. The gift will provide more fellowships for doctoral-level research in accounting, scholarships for BHP and will help fund new learning programs. The gift will also endow a faculty chair.
BHP students are typically ranked in the top 2 percent of their high school classes, have a 1453 average Scholastic Aptitude Test score and are leaders in their schools and communities. However, in recent years, this prestigious program has faced challenges in recruiting top students because of financial constraints.
“The Business Honors Program competes with top schools like Harvard, Stanford or Pennsylvania for the very best students,” says McCombs School Dean Tom Gilligan. “However, those institutions are able to offer large financial aid packages, especially to underrepresented students or to those who come from households with modest incomes. This gift will go a long way to help Texas stay competitive.”
Beverly and Will say they are thrilled to offer future generations access to higher education. “The goal is not to live forever. The goal is to create something that does,” Beverly says. “And an education is something that no one can ever take away from you.”