David Haskins (left) and Bob Kimmel (right) pose for a photo at a celebration of the Davis H. Elliott Foundation's gift that establishes the Bob Kimmel Student Entrepreneurial Innovation Endowment.

David Haskins (left) and Bob Kimmel (right) pose for a photo at a celebration of the Davis H. Elliott Foundation's gift that establishes the Bob Kimmel Student Entrepreneurial Innovation Endowment.

In the tapestry of life, there are threads of generosity that weave their way through the fabric of our communities, leaving behind an inspiring legacy. One such thread is Bob Kimmel, a man whose commitment to giving back has touched countless lives, especially at the University of North Texas. Bob is the previous president and CEO of the Davis H. Elliot Company, and this story of philanthropy begins with the company’s educational foundation, a testament to the enduring spirit of generosity within the Kimmel family.

With the noble intention of providing scholarships to dependents of employees, the vision of the company’s foundation was simple yet profound — to invest in the educational aspirations of future generations. What started as a dream became a reality, with scholarships awarded to students pursuing various paths of higher education, from trade schools to community colleges. Recognizing the potential for even greater impact, he envisioned endowing the foundation, ensuring that its impact would last beyond a lifetime.

“This choice was easy. It honored a commitment to giving back to the communities that have supported the company over the years,” says Bob. “I'm grateful to those 3,000 people that go out there and bust it every day so that we can create this pool and make a difference.”

And now the foundation is honoring Bob by establishing the Bob Kimmel Student Entrepreneurial Innovation Endowment at his alma mater, creating a significant and lasting impact at UNT. The decision to honor Bob with a gift to UNT speaks volumes about his character. Surprised yet grateful, Bob recognizes the potential for good that this gift could achieve.

“I’m very moved by this honor,” says Bob. “By channeling funds to UNT, the foundation is not only investing in the future of the university, but also empowering students through education.”

The endowment will support initiatives in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business through the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, catalyzing creativity and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among UNT students.

This investment will enable the Murphy Center to expand its reach and provide even greater resources for students with groundbreaking ideas. From pitch competitions to mentorship programs, the gift will enable students to turn their visions into reality, creating a ripple effect of economic growth. In essence, this donation is a poignant tribute to Bob's vision of empowering the next generation of leaders and changemakers, ensuring that his legacy lives on through the transformative impact of entrepreneurship at UNT.

“This gift in honor of Bob is a tangible expression of his heartfelt support for UNT and the Murphy Center,” says Marilyn Wiley, dean of the Ryan College of Business. “This support will help us bridge the gaps between education and real-world experiences by bringing the study and practice of entrepreneurship together.”

Bob’s own journey at UNT began as a transfer student, navigating the halls of what was once considered a commuter school. Little did he know that his decision to pursue accounting would set the stage for a remarkable career. Reflecting on his time as a student, Bob recalls the opportunities that UNT provided, opportunities that surpassed his wildest dreams.

"I am forever grateful to North Texas because at a time when I needed them, they were there," says Bob.

Bob's involvement with UNT didn't end with graduation. Over the years, he found himself drawn back to his alma mater, serving on the UNT Alumni Association Board of Directors and later joining the UNT Foundation Board of Directors. His dedication to giving back is matched only by his belief in the potential of the university as a world-class institution.

The impact of Bob's gift is already evident in the success stories emerging from the Murphy Center. Students are not only receiving financial support but also affirmation of their potential.

“It's just that simple. It is still possible in this country,” says Bob. “What runs this country is small business."

In Bob Kimmel is the embodiment of generosity, humility and unwavering belief in the power of education to transform lives, and this gift from the Davis H. Elliot Foundation — honoring Bob and supporting many UNT students — is a testament to the enduring spirit of generosity that elevates every individual it touches.