To all current and future social workers:

Dean Luis H. Zayas
Dean Luis H. Zayas

I’m very proud to announce that effective today our school is the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.

Thanks to a generous gift from R. Steven Hicks, telecommunications pioneer and vice chairman of the Board of Regents at The University of Texas System, we will be able to significantly expand the financial support offered to our master’s students. With this support, graduates will be able to respond to their social work calling freed up from student debt to pursue their passion for helping and changing the world.

Mr. Hicks’ gift of $25 million — which will grow to $30 million through a matching program — will also enhance research and teaching in the field of substance abuse and addictions, and develop new programs to teach students fundraising and development, essential skills for nonprofit leaders.

While it’s UT Austin that received this gift, I want all of us to share in it. It is a celebration of social work and social work education.

Mr. Hicks comes from the business world, but knows that social workers provide critical services across the life-span and across social and economic lines. He knows that all of us at some point of in our lives — regardless of our status, ethnicity, or religion — will be served by a social worker. He knows that social workers are there when we take home a prematurely born baby, or place a nephew in a drug rehab facility, or find the right nursing home with dementia-care for our great-uncle. Or it can be when our family is taught how to handle a child with autism, or when we embrace a military veteran returning home to her family after life-affecting combat, or when we enjoy the final days with a loved one in hospice. Professional social workers are there and in countless other places, and Mr. Hicks knows our value to society.

Please join me in celebrating our profession!  Learn more about the gift.

Luis H. Zayas, PhD
Dean and Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy
Steve Hicks School of Social Work