AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Football head coach Mack Brown and his wife, Sally, were honored Friday morning for their longstanding, personal commitment to the Rise School of Austin.
As a 60th birthday surprise for Mack Brown, a permanent site for the Rise School was unveiled, and it will be named the “Sally and Mack Brown Rise School of Austin.”
“When you see the kids, and see how much the school has helped them, and now the fact that there actually is going to be a school, a home, is overwhelming to Sally and I, and also heartwarming,” Brown said. “The fact that you could give something to somebody else on your birthday at 60 is pretty cool.”
Sally Brown was instrumental in the formation of the Rise School when it first opened its doors in August 2003. The non-profit school provides early childhood and preschool education to children with special needs and their typically developing peers.
The Rise School currently leases a space from the Highland Park Church in north central Austin, and the new, permanent facility will be erected on Manor Road, near The University of Texas campus and Dell Children’s Medical Center.
“There’s no one quite like Sally and Coach Brown when it comes to supporting the Rise School and its kids,” said Steve Hicks, Rise Across Texas Foundation chairman. “Mack and Sally have given so much to the Rise School, we felt strongly that this was an appropriate way to honor them for their energy and efforts.”
Friends of Mack, a group committed to raising funds and awareness for the Rise School of Austin, also announced the launch of its capital campaign during Friday’s event. The school received a $1 million land grant, and Friends of Mack will work to raise an additional $3 million in funds to build the permanent, 20,000-square foot facility.
“I’ve known Mack and Sally for many years, and this honor is well deserved,” UT Men’s Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said. “It’s our chance to recognize their years of commitment to the Rise School and to our shared goal of creating a state-of-the-art, permanent facility.”