Former Chancellor of the University of Texas System, R D (Dan) Burck of Austin, Texas passed away peacefully on September 12th after a courageous battle with cancer. Dan was born January 29, 1933, the son of R H (Bob) Burck and Elaine Hampton Burck. Dan was a 1956 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and credited his time at UT for all that he accomplished in his successful life and for many of his lasting friendships. He was married in 1955 to Jo Richardson, who passed away in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Penny Hight Burck; son Brian Burck and his wife Monica; daughter Becky Chiarodit and her husband Mike; daughter Terry Quinn and her husband Graham; son Ben Richards and his wife Leigh and daughter Claire Richards. "Gran Dan" will be missed by his seven grandchildren: Rob, Christina, Jeff, Danny, Robert, Mollie and Hudson.
Dan worked globally with Getty Oil Company from 1955 to 1984, ultimately coming to manage the company's diversified worldwide holdings, including 13 subsidiary companies in such diverse industries as real estate, agriculture, television, forest products, and construction. This led to his leadership in the creation of ESPN, the first cable sports network, of which he was Vice President and founding director. From 1984 to 1988, Block Watne, a Norwegian construction firm, retained Dan as President and Director to organize and manage a startup subsidiary company in the US.
In 1988, Dan joined the University of Texas System serving first as Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs; in 1992 he transitioned to Executive Vice Chancellor; and he became Chancellor in 2000. Dan was instrumental in securing triple-A ratings for bonds issued by the System by all US ratings agencies, oversaw development of a System-wide compliance program that has become a national model, and established the System's program for increasing purchases from historically under-utilized businesses.
During his years at UT, Dan served as the first Advisory Director of The University of Texas Investment Management Co. and on the Governor's Council on Science and Biotechnology and the Executive Committee of the Texas Council of Public Universities and Chancellors. Following his retirement as Chancellor in 2003, he served as a special advisor to the System. He continued his involvement with UT and education as a member of the UT System Chancellor's Council Executive Committee and as a lifelong member of Texas Exes, the Littlefield Society, the Silver Spurs service organization, the UT Austin Development Board, and the Board of Texas Kappa Sigma Education Foundation. He also worked with the University of Texas Elementary School (which was chartered while he was Chancellor), and was a founding member of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education.
Dan continued to devote his later life to serving higher education and other worthy causes in Austin, in Texas, and around the nation through active leadership in a wide variety of charitable, educational, fraternal, and business organizations. His most recent role was as Chairman of the Board of American Campus Communities, the largest provider of student housing in the US. Over the past eleven years Dan formed meaningful friendships with the American Campus Communities board members, leadership and staff. He was a Trustee of The Rise School of Austin, a member of the Advisory Council for The Briscoe Center for American History, a local advisory board member for Frost Bank, and formerly on the board of the Headliners Club.
Dan was inducted into the Matthews Elementary School Hall of Honor, the Silver Spurs Hall of Fame and the Stephen F. Austin High School Hall of Honor as a Distinguished Alumnus. In June of 2014, he was named one of six finalists for the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services Leadership Award for Nonexecutive Chairman in recognition of his leadership at American Campus Communities. Upon his induction into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame in November 2014, Dan thanked the university that had such a profound impact on his life and was so instrumental in his own business success.
Dan was also awarded the Tau Chapter Kappa Sigma Man of the Year in 2001, and in 2015 he was honored with the International Kappa Sigma Man of the Year Award, which was an opportunity for him to celebrate and reminisce with many of his "brothers" who have remained life long friends. In November of 2015 Dan will be honored as a University of Texas at Austin Distinguished Alumnus – the culmination of a lifelong dedication to the university and to the state of Texas and an award that had deep personal significance to him.
Dan treasured the many great times he spent over the years with his Kappa Sig brothers and his Pearl Lakes fly fishing buddies. He also enjoyed hitting the links with friends and family. Dan and Penny loved their UT Chancellor's Council trips and also the wonderful vacations they enjoyed with their many friends.
The family would like to express thanks to the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Seton Hospital. They are also grateful for treasured support of Dan and Penny's "right hand," Elaine Moore, and for the tender caregiving extended by Adriana, Roxanne and Lorena Jara.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16th at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 3201 Windsor Road. Interment will be at the Texas State Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are encouraged to one of Dan and Penny's charitable endeavors:
The Rise School of Austin
4800 Manor Road, Building J
Austin, TX 78723
The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin
Arno Nowotny Building
2300 Red River Street, Stop D 1100
Austin, TX 78712
The Penny and Dan Burck Endowment of the University of Texas System Chancellors' Council
C/O Office of Development and Gift Planning Services
210 West 6th Street, Suite 1.200
Austin, TX 78701
The Frances Elizabeth Quinn Endowment at Seton Hospital
1201 West 38th Street
Austin, TX 78705
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX 77210-4486