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T. Boone Pickens Foundation Makes its Largest Gifts - $50 Million Each to UT Southwestern Medical Center, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


The T. Boone Pickens Foundation, the charitable organization formed late last year by oil and gas industry leader and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens, today announced its largest gifts yet - $50 million each for two University of Texas health care institutions: UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Under unique agreements, the gifts will create special funds at the institutions, requiring that they grow to $1 billion ($500 million each) within 25 years from earnings on the original principal and/or from new outside donations solicited by the institutions. When the $500 million marks are reached, the institutions will be able to distribute the funds as they deem fit.

Pickens has supported hundreds of organizations and agencies nationwide and has inspired new, unconventional methods of giving, challenging organizations to leverage his dollars into significant capacity-building opportunities. His philanthropy has garnered great interest by many. His giving principles assure that organizations will have “ready money” when the next new discovery or advancement is needed.

“It is my desire, through these gifts, to build major legacies which will help ensure the excellence of UT Southwestern and UT M. D. Anderson in decades to come,” Pickens explained in announcing the foundation donation. “My foundation will get ten for one on its money, and that’s good for all of us.”

The $50 million the foundation has earmarked for UT Southwestern, one of the country’s leading academic medical centers, patient-care providers and research institutions, matches the largest single-sponsor gift in the institution’s history. The gift is being made to Southwestern Medical Foundation, which will be responsible for managing the funds and distributing them to UT Southwestern after the $500 million goal is reached. In recognition of the landmark gift, a recently completed 800,000-square-foot medical research and education facility on the UT Southwestern campus will be named the T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building.

“Boone Pickens is a legendary businessman and philanthropist who is known for his far-sighted and innovative ideas,” said Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern. “Throughout his career he has dealt with challenges in fresh and novel ways, and it is entirely in keeping with his creative approach to life that his foundation is raising UT Southwestern’s philanthropic sights in this unique way. We are tremendously excited about what this generous gift will mean for our long-term future, and we feel sure we can achieve the 25-year half-billion-dollar goal.”

The $50 million awarded to UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is the largest single philanthropic gift ever given to the cancer center. UT M. D. Anderson will name its new 21-story, 730,000-square-foot signature academic building the T. Boone Pickens Academic Tower. The tower, scheduled to open in spring 2008, will be the tallest structure at UT M. D. Anderson and include executive and faculty offices, classrooms and conference facilities. The top floor will feature a state-of-the-art cancer research library for UT M. D. Anderson, which is being designed to facilitate both independent study and group interactions.

“Mr. Pickens’ heartfelt desire to make life better for those dealing with cancer shines through with this exceptionally generous gift,” said UT M. D. Anderson President Dr. John Mendelsohn. “A gift of this magnitude shows his deep compassion for patients, and his philanthropic challenge to us exhibits creativity and ingenuity - concepts we employ daily in our fight against cancer. We thank him for this gift and for the trust he places in our ability to make pivotal strides toward Making Cancer History®, and we look forward to matching his innovation in finance with our innovations in scientific discovery.”

Pickens has personally donated generously to both UT health institutions in the past. He also served on the UT M. D. Anderson’s Board of Visitors from 1977 to 1986, including a term as chairman from 1983-1984.

“UT M. D. Anderson’s mission to eradicate cancer is substantially advanced by the active participation of its board and the philanthropic generosity of others. Boone models both characteristics and he challenges others to do so as well,” said UT M. D. Anderson Board of Visitors Chairman Marc Shapiro. “Certainly his desire to improve the lives of others is evident, and his innovative thinking will dramatically impact those who seek care both at UT M. D. Anderson and UT Southwestern.”

“Mr. Pickens has long been in the business of giving and helping people,” said Paul M. Bass, Chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “His foundation’s groundbreaking philanthropic approach will help our foundation significantly increase our long-range fundraising capabilities and provide a challenge for other donors to ensure their giving has much greater, collective impact. On behalf of the thousands of people who will benefit from Mr. Pickens’ generosity, we are extremely grateful to him.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has recognized Pickens among the nation’s most generous philanthropists for two years in a row.


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