Generosity in Education


Robert L. Moody, a renowned businessman, philanthropist, and devoted supporter of The University of Texas at Austin, has passed away at the age of 88. Known as “Bobby” to many, Moody made a significant impact on the UT campus through his generous contributions. As the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Moody Foundation, Moody played a pivotal role in establishing the Moody College of Communication with a $50 million commitment in 2013. This endowment became the largest of its kind for the study of communication at a public university in the United States at that time. Moody’s philanthropic efforts also extended to the Blanton Museum of Art, where the Moody Foundation provided $20 million to transform the exterior spaces. Moreover, the Moody Foundation made history by granting $130 million to support Texas Athletics, resulting in the naming of UT’s new basketball arena and events center as the Moody Center. With a total contribution of over $204 million, the Moody Foundation has established and supported various colleges, centers, institutes, programs, and venues at the University of Texas.

Generosity in Education: The Legacy of Robert L. Moody

Robert L. Moody’s philanthropy in the field of education has left an indelible mark on the University of Texas at Austin. His contributions, through the Moody Foundation, have not only transformed the campus but also created opportunities for students, faculty, and the broader Austin community. Moody’s commitment to education, research, and community development will continue to inspire and empower generations of Longhorns.

Moody Foundation: A Legacy of Giving

The Moody Foundation, founded in 1942 by W.L. Moody Jr. and Libbie Shearn Moody, has a long history of philanthropy in Texas. With over $1.7 billion in grants throughout the state, the foundation has supported organizations that have educated, healed, nurtured, and inspired generations of Texans. As the largest philanthropic foundation in Texas, the Moody Foundation has contributed to a wide range of causes, including the arts and music venues in Austin.

The Impact on Austin’s Cultural Landscape

The Moody Foundation’s visionary spirit has shaped the cultural landscape of Austin through its support of numerous event centers, theaters, and recreational venues. These gathering places have become the backdrop for world-class events and have greatly benefited their respective communities. Among the notable projects is the multipurpose Moody Center, which has become a game-changer on the Forty Acres. The Moody Foundation’s investment provided UT student-athletes in Men’s and Women’s Basketball with the best on-campus facility in the nation. Additionally, the Moody Foundation’s generous gift to the Blanton Museum of Art has transformed the exterior spaces surrounding Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin.” The design revitalized the area and enhanced the overall visitor experience.

Transforming Communication Studies

The Moody Foundation’s contributions to the Moody College of Communication have had a transformative effect on the study of communication at UT Austin. The ever-evolving field of communication, including advancements in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and the metaverse, requires state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. Thanks to the Moody Foundation’s support, students in the Moody College of Communication have access to the latest innovations that help them stay ahead in their studies.

Remembering Robert L. Moody

Robert L. Moody’s life was characterized by his unwavering commitment to hard work and generosity. Despite the loss of his father at a young age, Moody persevered and graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania in 1953. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army before assuming leadership roles in the Moody family’s insurance, banking, and hospitality businesses in Texas. Moody’s dedication to his work led to immense success over a span of six decades. He was married to Ann McLeod Moody, and together, they raised a blended family of eight accomplished children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The Moody family’s generosity extended beyond the University of Texas, making a lasting impact on Galveston, their chosen hometown. Moody’s proudest accomplishments include the establishment of the Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute and the construction of the reimagined Moody Gardens, which aimed to sustain and develop the economic health of Galveston.

Continuing the Legacy

Robert L. Moody’s commitment to education and philanthropy will continue to inspire future generations. The Moody Foundation’s ongoing partnership with the University of Texas at Austin ensures that his legacy lives on. As a family with deep ties to UT, the Moody Foundation has produced University of Texas graduates in every generation since its establishment. The foundation’s continued support reinforces the importance of education and the belief that generosity can make a significant difference in the lives of students, faculty, and the community.


The passing of Robert L. Moody marks the end of an era for the University of Texas at Austin and the wider Texas community. His philanthropic efforts, spearheaded through the Moody Foundation, have forever transformed the campus and the lives of countless individuals. Moody’s generosity in education will be remembered as a testament to the power of giving and the lasting impact it can have on the institutions and communities it supports. As the University of Texas at Austin continues to thrive and grow, it will be forever indebted to the legacy of Robert L. Moody and the Moody Foundation.