What to Know
- University of North Texas alumnus G. Brint Ryan announced a $30 million gift to the school on Monday.
- The donation is the largest in UNT history.
- The school of business will be named for Ryan, who graduated from North Texas in 1988.
University of North Texas received the largest donation in the school's 129-year history Monday. Dallas businessman and UNT alumnus G. Brint Ryan announced the $30 million commitment.
Ryan graduated from the school in 1988 with a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in accounting. The native of West Texas said when he arrived in Denton, he wanted to study English. But, when he took his first tax class, he was hooked.
"When I showed up on campus here, I didn't have a clue where I was going, what I was going to do," Ryan said.
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Upon graduation, Ryan took an accounting job. Within a few years, he formed Ryan LLC, now a global tax and accounting firm worth $1 billion.
The gift was by far the largest in UNT history.
"If this gift can show that a kid like me coming from a dusty West Texas town can achieve what I've achieved, they're already in front of me and can do the exact same thing," he said.
The gift will fund at least a half-dozen endowed chairs in what will now be known as the G. Britt Ryan College of Business. It will also help fund academic programs at the school. Ryan said he believed it would also help boost the school's reputation and ranking.
"In this crazy world, we need students with determination and grit," UNT president Dr. Neal Smatres said. "Students who can weather challenges and difficulty."
Words which could be used to describe Ryan, who credited his professors with challenging him to do his best.
"If it just shows one person what's possible," he said. "It'll be worth it."