The University of Texas at El Paso
For Woody L. Hunt, chairman and chief executive officer of Hunt Companies Inc., it is not enough to be an extremely successful businessman. Through his generous gifts to The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), he strives to create opportunities for the people of his community to enjoy similar success. What makes his efforts so effective – and unique – is his big-picture approach: by focusing on the economic vitality of the entire Paso del Norte region, he is forging a robust environment in which individuals play a significant role – an ambitious strategy that will help both the region and the state thrive in an increasingly competitive global economy.
Hunt Companies Inc., operated by the Hunt family for four generations, is a diversified investment, real estate development, construction management and property management firm – and one of the most successful businesses in El Paso. By leading Hunt Companies and its multiple affiliates, Woody has developed a keen insight into the critical importance of producing a highly educated populace to meet the nation’s economic and social challenges of the 21st century.
In recognition of his dedication to education and economic advancement across Texas, he was appointed to The University of Texas System Board of Regents in 1999 – the first El Pasoan named to the board in 42 years. In addition to his six years as a Regent, he served seven years – three as chairman – on the board of directors of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).
The Hunt Family Foundation, established in 1987 by Woody and his wife Gayle, has made gifts and pledges to UTEP totaling more than $6.5 million, including generous commitments that helped launch the most ambitious fund-raising venture in the University’s history, At the Forefront: The Centennial Campaign for UTEP. From the College of Business Administration to the Intercollegiate Athletics Program, their gifts have touched almost every corner of the University – and will continue to do so for years to come.
Among the foundation’s gifts in support of the Centennial Campaign are two significant endowments, the Marcus Jonathan Hunt Chair in International Business and the Marcus Jonathan Hunt Graduate Fellows Program in Business, which are named in memory of Woody and Gayle’s son who passed away in 2008.
The endowed chair and fellowship program will contribute significantly to the work conducted at the new Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, a multidisciplinary center established through a gift from the foundation and dedicated to research and analysis at the intersection of education and economic development.
By providing support for both students and faculty, these gifts will enhance the development of critical research initiatives and academic programs to help UTEP continue meeting its objective to elevate the quality of life across the region by making both El Paso and the state of Texas more competitive in the global market.
The Hunts’ gifts also will accelerate UTEP’s progress toward Tier One, or national research university, status – an achievement that will aid the economic development of the entire Paso del Norte region