Graham Weston

Graham Weston, one of the co-founders of Rackspace and Geekdom, has donated $15 million to the University of Texas at San Antonio to establish a School of Data Science and a National Security Collaboration Center downtown.

The school is part of UTSA’s 10-year plan to develop its downtown San Antonio campus “as a destination for producing highly skilled professionals in big data and analytics,” according to UTSA.

In addition, UTSA is working with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County for the transfer of land downtown, valued at $13 million, to the university for the new school, a National Security Collaboration Center and the relocation of the UTSA College of Business. All of UTSA’s projects would total $229 million in value.

Already, UT’s system board of regents pledged $70 million for the School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center. UTSA is putting up another $5 million and with Weston’s $15 million gift, the university can begin the two construction projects, according to UTSA. The school will be located in the heart of San Antonio’s high tech corridor.

“UTSA is building the best data science program in the world. It will train the smartest students in the field and make them the hottest commodities in the workforce. We hope that as UTSA creates them, the biggest employers in the world will come to downtown San Antonio to recruit their IT workforces,” Weston said in a UTSA post.

“What we are witnessing today is the creation of transformative opportunities for San Antonio for generations to come,” UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, said in a UTSA post. “This convergence of talent, collaboration and innovation will create new jobs and new prosperity while further elevating San Antonio as a powerhouse for cybersecurity, data science and entrepreneurship.”

Visual courtesy of UTSA