The UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management announced Nov. 6 at the school’s annual Scholarship Breakfast that a $3 million gift from North Texas real estate luminaries Donna and Herb Weitzman will establish the Herbert D. Weitzman Institute for Real Estate. The gift will provide scholarships for eligible undergraduate finance and business administration students pursuing a concentration in real estate.
In addition, the gift will help fund real estate student trips to case competitions and conferences. The cachet of the Weitzman name also will open doors for student internship opportunities, according to the school news release.
Herb Weitzman is founder and executive chairman of Weitzman, which operates full-service offices in all of the major Texas markets of Austin, Houstonand San Antonio, as well as Dallas-Fort Worth. “We have always been a Texas company,” he said.
With nearly six decades of commercial real estate development experience, Weitzman has made a lasting imprint on North Texas commercial real estate. The Dallas Morning News has dubbed him “Mr. Retail.” Weitzman noted that he once told the News’ real estate editor Steve Brown that he considers himself “a son of Dallas.”
Weitzman said his goal in establishing the institute was to enable students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to consider real estate as a career option and to offer them the academic support and tools they need.
“A program that trains our future leaders offers the potential of reshaping the North Texas community in a positive way for decades to come,” he said. “I’m honored to be able to contribute to that promise.”
Weitzman, who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, has kept an eye on the Jindal School’s development.
“This University has an excellent, highly rated business school with a diverse student population,” he said. “I watched this school grow over the past decades and have seen amazing things happen. It makes me proud to say that our company is associated with UT Dallas. This school has a zeal for excellence.”
Donna Weitzman, an entrepreneur, dating expert, author and podcaster, also has had an accomplished real estate career. She formerly served as City of Colleyville mayor and city council member.
“I’m so proud of Herb and what he has done for real estate and our community,” she said. “I’m delighted to be a part of this special day for him.”
For Dr. Randall S. Guttery, director of Jindal School real estate curriculums, the gift has special significance. He has been a friend and advisor to Herb Weitzman for years.
“Herb told me he wants this to be a legacy gift,” Guttery said. “He wants to help the next generation and generations to come. His and Donna’s generosity will help ensure that will happen in perpetuity.”
The Weitzman’s gift and institute announcement came at the Scholarship Breakfast, the Jindal School’s yearly fundraiser. The breakfast brings in money for students across all programs and expands engagement within the local business community. Breakfast proceeds have funded 400 scholarships.
About 500 guests attended the event, at which the Weitzmans were the featured guests. After Jindal School Dean Hasan Pirkul announced the Weitzman’s gift and creation of the institute, the couple engaged in a conversation about their relationship and their careers with moderator Roger Staubach. A personal friend of the couple, the legendary former Dallas Cowboys quarterback also has a successful long career in commercial real estate in common with the Weitzmans.