France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund

Inspiring the Future Through Creativity, Determination, Passion & Vision

The newly established endowment fund has a two-fold mission: to support research collaborations between faculty at UT Austin and institutions in France through travel awards and student stipends; and to facilitate awareness and connections across the UT Austin community for French culture, workforce and education.


Endowment Agreement Signing

UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves and Gérard Araud, ambassador of France to the United States, sign the endowment agreement with French embassy and consulate officials, UT Austin leadership, and Chris DeWitt, daughter of Cécile DeWitt-Morette in attendance. 

Honoring the work and life of Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette

The France-UT endowment has been named in honor of Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette. Dr. DeWitt-Morette’s storied career, her efforts to improve global relations for the science community, and her reputation as a determined innovator embody the spirit of the Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund. This endowment solidifies the commitment between France and The University of Texas at Austin to support faculty and students who exemplify some of Dr. DeWitt-Morette’s finest qualities: creativity, determination, passion, and vision. These individual qualities, supported by the rich cultural heritage of innovation and the resources provided by the endowment, will lead to generations of joint discoveries and deeper ties between the people of France and Texas.

About the Endowment

The Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund was established in fall 2017 through a joint investment by UT Austin and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will exist in perpetuity. Annually, distributions from the fund will support research collaborations and travel stipends for UT Austin students to pursue research interests in France.

While named in honor of one of France’s most notable scientists, funds from the France-UT endowment will be available to the most competitive nominees from across UT Austin to ensure the needs and interest of both France and UT Austin can be cultivated long into the future.

“Global engagement is an essential component of The University of Texas at Austin’s educational and research missions. This partnership will strengthen the important relationship between Texas and France and benefit citizens in both nations.” – UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves

Invest in the France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund

The initial investment of $100,000 has formally established the endowment but we seek to grow this endowment to at least $2 million by 2020. There is an opportunity for both corporations and individuals to invest in the fund to help it grow. Commitments may be pledged over a five-year window and gifts may be made online, by check, or by transferring stock or other appreciated assets.


UT Austin students will have better exposure to France, both abroad and in Texas, through joint endeavors on campus and across Texas that will result from strengthening this relationship. This exposure can lead to a more globally aware workforce, employees for French companies in Texas, and future generations of academic leaders with a passion for global collaboration.

Visiting French students and faculty will have a richer experience because of the established relationship between France and UT Austin. When they return to France, it will be with a better understanding of Texas culture and the ability to contribute to the broader question of how France and Texas can continue to work together for the greater good.

France-UT Endowment One-Pager

The Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund will accept proposals until April 10, 2020. For more information, or to submit a proposal, visit our online submission portal.

Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette

Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette was a renowned physicist and professor emerita of UT’s Department of Astronomy and the Department of Physics.


Support the France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund

Use the link below if you wish to support the France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund

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