Businessman-philanthropist commits $1 million gift to UNT Dallas

Brint Ryan
Dallas businessman and philanthropist Brint Ryan has committed a $1 million gift to the University of North Texas Dallas Campus.
Monday, April 6, 2009

DALLAS -- Dallas businessman and philanthropist Brint Ryan has committed a $1 million gift to the University of North Texas Dallas Campus and in doing so becomes the first member of the UNT Dallas Founders Circle.

John Ellis Price, vice chancellor of the Campus and president-designate of the future UNT Dallas, said the gift is the largest from a private individual in the nine-year history of the Campus.

"When I announced to the UNT Board of Regents in February my intention to create the Founders Circle and described to them the qualifications for membership in this select group, I had individuals like Brint Ryan in mind," Price said. "He has demonstrated the visionary leadership, commitment to education, and devotion to public service that exemplifies founders of a great university."

The UNT Dallas Founders Circle will function as a nine-member board dedicated to the development of the UNT Dallas Campus as it transitions from an extension site to an independent university. UNT Dallas is scheduled to open as Dallas' first and only public university in 2010.

Ryan said he decided to serve as a member of the Founders Circle because he became convinced that the future growth and vitality of the City of Dallas hinges in large part on how well the city educates its populace.

"There is  a great deal that the people of Dallas must do to ensure a bright future for our city and the region, but that work starts in the classroom," Ryan said. "The UNT Dallas Campus is strategically positioned to impact educational achievement at all levels in Dallas and the North Texas region.  I intend to communicate that message to anyone who will listen." 

"When Dr. Price offered me the chance to work with him and his executive leadership team to help build a truly unique public university, I welcomed the opportunity.  I believe in the promise of UNT Dallas, and I know the quality of its leadership," Ryan said.

Joe Breshears, executive director of development for the UNT Dallas Campus, said Ryan and other members of the Founders Circle will not only assist in raising financial support for the university, but will "provide invaluable counsel to the university's administration."

"The founders of UNT Dallas will share an historic opportunity to impact the growth and development of a new university, which will in turn serve as a vital economic and educational engine for the region," Breshears said.

"UNT Dallas Campus students will be the direct beneficiaries of Ryan's gift, as the money will be used to provide much-needed financial aid. Most of the recipients will be first-generation college students," Price said.

"For many of these students, the availability of scholarships and other financial aid is the critical difference in making the dream of a college education a reality," Price said. "At UNT Dallas, we believe in the transformative power of education.  We see the results every day in the lives of our students. I am grateful for community leaders like Brint Ryan, who share our belief in the power of education and who are willing to invest time and resources in the mission of UNT Dallas."

Ryan is a graduate of the University of North Texas and is the founder and managing principal of Ryan, the leading tax services firm in the United States and Canada.  Ryan is headquartered in Dallas and operates in 30 locations throughout North America and Europe.  With a multi-disciplinary team providing tax advisory and consulting services such as audit defense, tax recovery, credits and incentives, tax process improvement and automation, tax appeals, and strategic planning, Ryan's more than 775 professionals and associates serve many of the world's most prominent Fortune 1000 companies. For more information on Ryan, go to

For additional information on the UNT Dallas Founders Circle or other opportunities to support UNT Dallas, contact Joe Breshears, executive director of development, at (972) 780-3617 or

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108