The UTA community gathered Friday at Brazos Park to celebrate the university’s Texas Tier One designation.

Orange and blue balloons surrounded the park as lines of students enjoyed refreshments and grabbed Maverick swag such as T-shirts and goodie bags.

UTA achieved Texas Tier One status on Aug. 19. This achievement has allowed the university to receive national recognition and funding from the National Research University Fund.

Interim President Teik Lim said receiving the designation is like winning the NCAA championship and a recognition of both academics and research.

According to previous Shorthorn reporting, the National Research University Fund will allocate about $6.2 million annually starting fiscal year 2022.

Lim said achieving the Texas Tier One status was a collaborative effort. He thanked students, faculty and staff for the achievement. He said it took 12 years and three university presidents to receive this recognition.

Mark LaVelle, assistant vice president for alumni and donor engagement, said this achievement is a great confidence boost for the university.

“It'll be wonderful for our students and faculty to know that they are now attending and working at an institution that's been designated a Tier One institution,” LaVelle said.

Lim said the university has exceeded the benchmark required to receive the designation, which includes surpassing $45 million in restricted research expenditures, awarding more than 200 doctoral degrees annually, being a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and high enrollment of freshmen with high academic achievement.

James Spaniolo, senior adviser for external engagement and former UTA president, said he is proud of the efforts made by the university to achieve this accomplishment.

“[There’s] a great personal pride and appreciation and gratitude for all the excellent work that our faculty and staff have done over the last decades,” Spaniolo said.


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