News and analysis
October 10, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Software Mogul Donates $25 Million for U. of Illinois Design Hub

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
An artist's rendering of the planned Siebel Center for Design at the University of Illinois, to be established with support from tech entrepreneur Thomas Siebel and his wife, Stacey.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

University of Illinois

Technology entrepreneur Thomas Siebel and his wife, Stacey, gave $25 million through their foundation to establish the Siebel Center for Design, a campuswide hub for programs in product, process, and user-interface design.

Mr. Siebel founded Siebel Systems, a software company that merged in 2006 with the Oracle Corporation. He now heads another software firm, C3 IoT. He earned three degrees from the university: a bachelor’s in history in 1975, a master’s in business administration in 1983, and a master’s in computer science in 1985.

Intermountain Foundation

Kem Gardner pledged $20 million to build the Intermountain Transformation Center, which will house institutes that train medical and other health-care professionals.

Mr. Gardner founded the Gardner Company, a real-estate firm. He currently chairs the board of the foundation, the fundraising arm of Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare.

University of Southern California

Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, donated $20 million to help build the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC, which will combine interdisciplinary research with cancer treatment and prevention programs.

Before he launched Salesforce, a cloud-computing company, Mr. Benioff spent 13 years at Oracle, the software firm founded by Mr. Ellison, the institute’s main benefactor.

Mr. Benioff graduated from the university in 1986 and has served on its Board of Trustees since 2010. Ms. Benioff is a marketing consultant and co-founded Star Community Home, a short-term residential center for homeless families in San Francisco.

University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School

Mitchel Wong, his son, Shannon, and their family committed more than $20 million to establish the Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute, a center that will train ophthalmologists and provide patients with medical and surgical eye care.

Mitchel Wong graduated from the university in 1960 and opened an ophthalmology practice in Austin in 1969. His son joined the practice in 1997.

Indiana University at Bloomington

Milton and Judi Stewart pledged $7.7 million to support the Center on the Global Legal Profession at the university’s Maurer School of Law. The money will provide an endowment for the center, which will be renamed for the donors, and for a professorship.

Mr. Stewart retired as a partner at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. He earned his law degree at Maurer in 1971.

University of Nevada at Reno

Professional basketball player Ramon Sessions gave $1 million to create a new basketball practice facility. The Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center is scheduled to open in August 2017

Mr. Sessions attended the university from 2004 to 2007 and now plays point guard for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

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

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.