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Office of Gift Administration, Compliance and Advancement Services
The University of Texas System
210 West 7th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Donor and Community Relations
Endowment Administration, Compliance and Advancement Services
Since joining The University of Texas System in 2005, Melissa Jackson has worked to build and strengthen the bonds between the UT System and the many organizations and individuals with whom the System maintains relationships in Texas and beyond. As executive director of community and donor relations for the Office of External Relations, Ms. Jackson assumes many responsibilities, from representing the UT System’s interests before community-based groups and professional associations, to participating in strategic communications that advance the UT System’s mission, to securing annual support for use at the discretion of the Chancellor.
A fourth-generation Austinite, Ms. Jackson has spent her professional career and personal life in service to Central Texas-based companies and community organizations. Ms. Jackson has served on the has served on the boards of The Junior League of Austin (President and Sustaining President), The Women’s Symphony League, Helping Hand Home for Children, Paramount Theatre, American Lung Association and other organizations. She was appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Women and currently serves on the board of the Beacon State Fund which supports the commission.
Ms. Jackson received a bachelor of science degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.
Andria Brannon joined the team as Director of Endowment Administration and Advancement Services in 2019 and oversees the UT System-wide Endowment Compliance Program; provides support to the various institutions with regard to complex gifts, namings and unique assets; and handles various operational functions of the Office of External Relations. Andria has devoted much of her career to higher education and non-profit service, including more than ten years of experience in advancement and gift planning at UT Austin. Other philanthropic work over the last twenty years has included roles with a national charity, a hospital system, a grass-roots non-profit, and most recently for a statewide coalition of Texas-based non-profits.
Andria has a passion for service and community engagement, lending her time and talents as a volunteer with the Texas Book Festival, her church, neighborhood association, children’s schools, and serving as an advocate for victim’s rights issues. She received her undergraduate degree in English and her master of science in counseling, both from the University of North Texas. She received her doctor of jurisprudence from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
“I am excited to bring together my experiences in philanthropy, health care, and higher education to serve all of the institutions across the UT System. As a fifth-generation native Texan, I can’t think of a better way to give back to the state I love.”
As Associate Director of Endowment Compliance and Development Operations, Jean Bennett administers the system-wide Endowment Compliance Program for the UT academic and health institutions.
Jean joined UT System in December 2012 and enjoys the variety of projects she works on. She also appreciates that her work supports the UT System mission to improve education and health care in Texas.
Karoline Felts, Associate Director for Estate and Trust Administration, is responsible for estate and trust administration for the 14 University of Texas institutions.
“It is impressive to see the loyalty donors have to UT. Obviously their time at UT has positively impacted their lives and they want to show their gratitude by giving back to the University,” says Karoline.
Karoline joined the Office of External Relations in 2014 after eight years at The University of Texas at Austin working at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Harry Ransom Center. She earned her B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. Rock Chalk!
Chandra McTyre, Associate Director of Development Services, assists the 14 UT institutions with drafting endowments agreements, helps educate staff on gift acceptance procedures and assists with requests for building namings.
“I enjoy working with all of the institutions on a daily basis,” says Chandra. “It is rewarding to know that I am able to provide advice and solutions regarding complex gift matters to each of our institutions, which in turn provides them with the means to fit the individual needs of each and every one of their constituents.”
Chandra joined the gift planning services team in 2008, initially focusing on maintaining accurate gift records and constituent information. Previous to joining us, Chandra was part of the development team at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston. Chandra received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Houston–Clear Lake.
Jose Perez, Development Specialist, is primarily responsible for maintaining all endowment, estate, trust, and gift records, both physically and digitally, for the 14 University of Texas institutions.
Jose joined the UT System in 2015 initially focusing on file and gift imaging. He has then learned the tools of the trade in records and information management and has taken on a variety of projects, including the complete digitization of all endowment, estate and trust records.
Jose has served in the United States AirForce and received a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Judy Collins, Director of Data Services, is primarily responsible for maintaining the constituent database that consists of members, community constituents and colleagues. “The reliability and integrity of our information is key to the Chancellor, the Development team and colleagues, so we can actively engage with our constituents,” Judy says.
Judy relies on her exceptional attention-to-detail to maintain the rosters for five Membership Societies and the Chancellor’s E-Communication.
Judy joined the Development & Gift Planning Services Department in 2005. She was previously employed as the Membership Manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Judy received her Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Office Technology from the State University of New York at Morrisville.
As Manager of Strategic Development Communications, Margarita Ramos is responsible for development and communications pieces for The University of Texas System External Relations - leading writing projects, developing print and digital media, and preparing media distribution.
Margarita joined the UT System team in November 2016, arriving from the Austin nonprofit sector. Eager to return to a higher education affiliated role, she had previously served in various university communications and development positions, including Outside Awards Coordinator at Harvard University and Donor Relations and Promotions Coordinator at Texas A&M University.
Internationally raised and educated, Margarita earned a Master of Science in Marketing and a Certificate in Public Relations Strategies from Texas A&M University, as well as graduate degrees in management and government studies from Harvard University. She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.