Challenge for McKetta

Graphic button that links to a giving site for the Challenge for McKetta campaign When the chemical engineering community celebrated the 95th birthday of beloved professor, friend and mentor, John J. McKetta Jr. in 2010, the department announced the start of the Challenge for McKetta- a $25 million fundraising campaign to formally name the department after Professor McKetta. Summer of 2012, we passed the $10 million mark and, as suggested by the Board of Regents, celebrated this milestone with a formal dedication ceremony of the John J. McKetta Jr. Department of Chemical Engineering in November 2012, just two weeks after Prof. McKetta turned 97 years old.

The Challenge for McKetta is a remarkable philanthropic opportunity for alumni, friends and corporate partners to ensure the financial health of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering long into the future. This collective investment — by thousands who know and love him — is the ultimate gift for him. Our momentum is great, and Dr. McKetta himself is humbled by every gift that comes in. Please learn more about this transformational effort and be a part of it in the way that works best for you and your family.

Every gift counts

"A Tribute to John J. McKetta Jr." videoThe Challenge for McKetta campaign will honor all philanthropic gifts to the department, including:

There are two ways to designate your giving:

1. Make an unrestricted gift, at any level, and it will be added to the already established McKetta Challenge Fund Endowment in Chemical Engineering, which supports department growth and excellence through faculty recruitment, student support at the graduate and undergraduate level, laboratory enhancements and more. This endowment was established in the mid 1990’s under the McKetta Challenge fundraising effort. We are now trying to grow this endowment in order to position the department now and in the future for continued excellence.

2. Chemical engineering alumni and friends also have the chance to leave their legacy on the department by creating an endowment in their own name. Gifts of $25,000 and above, either through an outright gift, a multi-year pledge or an estate bequest, may be used to establish a named endowment. Below are the various levels of giving in order of departmental priority.

Fill out a Pledge Form [PDF] to fax in or set up your gift online.

Endowment Minimums

Faculty Dr. John McKetta poses for a photo.
Endowed Leadership Chair $2 Million
Endowed Faculty Chair $1 Million
Endowed Professorship $750,000
Endowed Faculty Early Career Award $500,000

Students – Graduate Fellowships 
Dean’s Graduate Fellow $750,000
Foundation Graduate Fellow $250,000
Endowed Presidential Graduate Fellow $100,000

Programs and Research
Endowed Excellence Fund $25,000 or more

Undergraduate Scholarships
Endowed Presidential Scholarship $50,000 or more
Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship $25,000 or more

The opportunity… and why now?

The Challenge for McKetta will build on the Department of Chemical Engineering’s 100 years of excellence in education, discovery and leadership. This is an extraordinary time in the department’s history as there is no other figure alive whose impact could invoke this level of commitment and support from alumni and friends. Once completed, The Challenge for McKetta will secure the name of John J. McKetta, Jr. to the Department of Chemical Engineering and will become the first named department in the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Please consider your experience on the Forty Acres and what role you and your family can play in honoring Professor McKetta.

For more information about The Challenge for McKetta, or to ask questions, contact:

Michael Barasch
Associate Director of Development
Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
301 E. Dean Keeton St., C2104
Austin, TX 78712-0287
512-471-0469 – office
412-720-4918 – cell
michael.barasch@austin.utexas.edu