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The University of Texas at Dallas is expanding its real estate program thanks to a major gift.

Dallas real estate legend Herbert Weitzman and his wife, Donna, are donating $3 million to the school to provide scholarships to undergraduate finance and business administration students pursuing a career in real estate.

Weitzman, who has worked in the Dallas real estate business for almost 60 years, is the founder of the Weitzman real estate firm, one of the area’s top commercial property companies, and one of the largest retail real estate companies in the state.

"The mentoring programs at universities are so important," Weitzman said. "One of my goals with the real estate school is to really teach these students to be entrepreneurial.

"I’m such a supporter of bringing in young people out of college," he said. "That’s one of our purposes with being a partner with UT Dallas. I think there is a phenomenal opportunity here."

Weitzman’s gift is to UTD’s Naveen Jindal School of Management, the largest of the university’s eight schools with a fall 2018 enrollment of about 9,260.

"With a generous gift of $3 million we are going to create an endowment," said the management school dean Hasan Pirkul. "This is a big legacy gift. This gift will make it possible for us to make our school a center of real estate at least for Texas."

Pirkul said UTD currently has about 700 alums working in real estate.

"Real estate is a huge economic driver," Pirkul said. "One of the first things I wanted to do here when I became dean was create a real estate program. We have a wonderful program in place, and it’s going to get better with this announcement."

Weitzman said he chose UTD for the gift after considering several educational opportunities.

"This university is a phenomenal asset to the city, and it was the right fit," Weitzman said. "It’s the right location at the right time with the right people leading it."

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