News and analysis
March 28, 2016

Gifts Roundup: $100 Million From Paul Allen for New Research Organization

John Harrington, Allen Institute

The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group will support bioscience deemed too new or untested to attract government grants.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledged $100 million to create a new organization to support work in bioscience deemed too new or untested to attract grant money from the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

The Frontier Group’s first two grants of $30 million apiece are going to Stanford and Tufts universities to establish new research centers. Individual scientists will receive about $1 million each to support their research in areas such as antibiotic resistance, the development of brain circuitry, gene editing, and tissue regeneration.

Mr. Allen has given hundreds of millions of dollars to scientific research over the last decade and said he plans to do more. He founded Vulcan Inc., a private-investment firm, in 1986.

Yeshiva University

Mordecai and Monique Katz committed $25 million to establish the Mordecai D. and Monique C. Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The school will offer degrees in several fields and its programs will include traditional and online courses, with a focus on helping students build professional networks and a portfolio of work.

Mordecai Katz is a former aerospace executive and the current vice chairman of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees. Monique Katz is a retired radiologist and a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which was formerly affiliated with Yeshiva. She serves as vice chairman of the Board of Overseers at the university’s Stern College for Women.

Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

Delores Barr Weaver gave $20 million to establish the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, a donor-advised fund housed at the community foundation. This is the latest of several donor-advised funds she has set up there.

Ms. Weaver co-owned the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars with her husband, J. Wayne Weaver. They sold the team in 2012 and soon afterward gave the community foundation $50 million to create the Delores Barr Weaver Fund. Ms. Weaver has devoted much of her philanthropy to efforts to prevent teenage pregnancy and rape and sexual assault in the military, and to helping victims of sex trafficking and girls caught up in the juvenile-justice system.

West Virginia University

Mary "Mickey" Welch pledged $10 million to create two endowed scholarship programs for future students from Wood County, W.Va.

The gift includes $9.5 million to establish the Mary "Mickey" Welch Scholars Program. The remaining $500,000 will create the Mary "Mickey" Welch Wood County 4-H Scholarship Fund.

The scholars program will provide four years of support for students living in Wood County. Ms. Welch and her family were involved in the oil and gas industry.

Aspen Music Festival and School

Warren and Allison Kanders donated $2.5 million to endow the festival’s Sunday afternoon concerts, which will now be named for the couple.

Ms. Kanders is vice chairman of acquisitions of painting and sculpture at the Whitney Museum of Art. She has served on the festival’s Board of Trustees since 2013.

Mr. Kanders is the executive chairman of Black Diamond, a company that manufactures and supplies armored military vehicles and other products for defense, homeland security, and the commercial markets.

John Brown University

An anonymous donor gave $1 million to the university’s Abila Archaeological Project. The money will support the excavation, conservation, and restoration of the archeological site of Abila of the Decapolis in northern Jordan.

It will also help pay for the university’s Jordan Summer Studies Program, its Holy Lands study trip, and the biannual Abila Lecture in Biblical Archaeology.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.