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Mack Brown got an early birthday surprise today: the Rise School of Austin has been renamed in his and his wife’s honor.
One day before Texas’ head football coach turns 60, supporters calling themselves the “Friends of Mack” gathered at a site on the Mueller Development to see where the Sally and Mack Brown Rise School of Austin will be permanently located.
The Browns have been among the most enthusiastic and high-profile supporters of the innovative Rise School, which pairs students with special needs alongside their normally developing peers. The Browns were instrumental in helping found the Austin Rise School in 2003 and in creating an annual golf tournament.
For years, the school operated on a shoestring and in temporary homes inside churches and elsewhere.
UT regent Steve Hicks and his wife, Donna, spearheaded an ongoing effort to raise money for a permanent home. They put up the first $1 million toward a $4 million goal, and last summer Steve road his bike 870 miles across Texas to raise money and awareness.
Bevo and the Silver Spurs, the Texas Cowboys, and the Longhorn Band were on hand today for the ceremony.
“Giving, I’ve learned, is the most important thing you can do in life,” Brown said.
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Kay Gresham Szabo: