The Longhorn Alumni Band is without equal in pride, size, quality, and spirit. We are, without a question, a band family of absolutely amazing and dedicated supporters. Over the years, you have heard LHAB leadership talk about raising money to support LHB, and every time we’ve asked, you’ve stepped up to support the band we love so much. Thank you.
Now it’s a whole new ball game. Recently, UT committed to working on raising $50M more in funds to help guarantee LHB’s solid future, for a total endowment of $75 for LHB and LHB scholarships. Most of us sat or read silently, with wide eyes, and thought, “That’s not for me. I can’t write checks for that kind of money.” You couldn’t be more wrong.
Over the coming months, we’ll be telling you more about how EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US can contribute to this campaign, and how every one of us can make an impact to help guarantee the future of LHB.
Here are a few FAQs:
Why Does LHB Need Our Help?
Over the years, institutional support for LHB has been uncertain and inconsistent, dependent upon external forces such as state budgets, athletic directors, the success (or lack thereof) of athletics, and more. Sometimes the funds are there, and other times, there isn’t enough. The needs of LHB, however, remain constant.
In addition to high-visibility items such as uniforms and instruments, LHB needs significant resources for day-to-day operations, including meals, equipment and upkeep, music, salaries, and staff support. Facilities and technology need updates as well as ongoing maintenance. Operating one of the very finest college band programs in the country requires a significant amount of money and always will.
The LHB Legacy Fund is an endowment designed to provide permanent support for LHB. Funds go into an endowment that will help guarantee a bright future for LHB, in good times and bad.
With Texas moving to the SEC, LHB will be competing against some of the most well-funded bands in the country. What does the competition do? Some collegiate bands provide all their performers with top-of-the-line instruments. Some award scholarships to every student and recruit top students with scholarships. Others have monstrous endowments that pay for day-to-day operations. The reality is that LHB needs a solid foundation for future funding to keep ahead.
We don’t want to see LHB being 2nd best on the field on Saturdays, and if we want to see the best band in the SEC wearing burnt orange, we all need to step up now.
But wait! Doesn’t UT have the biggest collegiate athletics budget in the country?
Unfortunately, LHB only receives part of its funding from athletics. Staff salaries, equipment, facilities, and day-to-day operational costs are paid from multiple sources, and with UT moving to the SEC, many expenses in athletics are expected to increase significantly. In addition, UT Athletics’ budgets are variable, and change significantly depending on the fortunes of the sports teams, primarily football. LHB needs solid, long-term funding it can count on in the future, regardless of how the football team is doing.
What about UT’s giant endowment? UT has billions!
It’s true that UT’s endowment is the 2nd-largest in the country, and it’s likely to be #1 by the end of the decade. However, what the news doesn’t tell you is that UT’s endowment must serve, by law, over a quarter of a million college students throughout the UT System. When you rank UT’s endowment by dollars per student, we rank no higher than 87th. Would Longhorn fans settle for any sports team ranked #87? Would you accept a School of Engineering or Business ranked 87th? Or be satisfied with the 87th best college marching band? No.
LHB needs our help if we want it to remain the best band in the land.
I don’t have the money to write a million-dollar check. How do you expect me to help?
Every one of us can make an impact. If you can write a check to help out today, you provide immediate help, either by endowing a scholarship or supporting LHB operations. If you can donate the cost of one lunch out or vanilla latte through an ongoing monthly donation, that makes a difference. And if you can pledge a gift from your estate, even a small percentage, you’re helping guarantee LHB’s future without ever writing a check today.
Everyone can play a part in this, and we need everyone’s help.
For years, LHB alumni have been fortunate to be part of a band family that sometimes didn’t need us. Unfortunately, times have changed, and the LHAB family needs to step up NOW and create a lasting culture of giving that will preserve LHB’s excellence and insure that the Showband of the Southwest will remain the best in the land for years to come.
Stay tuned next month for more information. Our band will be counting on us.
Your LHAB Charitable Fund Board of Trustees.