The Longhorn Foundation, which provides support to the University of Texas, Austin, has announced a $20 million commitment from Julia Hickman and Cecil Reynolds to establish the Cecil Reynolds and Julia Hickman Center for Student-Athlete Brain & Behavioral Health.
The largest one-time gift in support of Texas Athletics will enable the center to implement an integrated, athlete-centered model of mental/behavioral health services that emphasizes education, prevention, assessment, treatment, and self-care for current and future UT student-athletes. The center will also work to integrate clinical services and prioritize participation in research initiatives focused on athlete brain and behavioral health interventions and outcomes.
As the center takes shape, a multidisciplinary Texas Athletics medical team comprising physicians, athletic trainers, dieticians, clinical social workers, and clinical behavioral health consultants will provide evidence-based assessment and treatment to UT student-athletes. Texas Athletics also will partner with Dell Medical School's Department of Psychiatry, the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences, and others to implement behavioral health best practices for a variety of disorders, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, disordered eating, and bipolar disorder, as well as symptoms associated with sports-related concussion.
Housed in and collaborating with Dell Medical School, the Cecil Reynolds and Julia Hickman Endowed Professor of Brain & Behavioral Health will direct research endeavors related to student-athlete brain and behavioral health, with the incumbent reporting within the Dell Medical School organizational structure.
Longtime women's basketball season ticket holders and Longhorn Foundation supporters, Hickman and Reynolds are mental health professionals who have taught at the college level and previously endowed a postgraduate scholarship for female student-athletes who exhaust their athletics eligibility.
"I'm so impressed with Julia and Cecil and their vision to care for student-athletes," said UT vice president and athletics director Chris Del Conte. "We continue to learn that having a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. This generous commitment will help our student-athletes for generations to come."