News and analysis
September 12, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Texas Couple Gives $25 Million to Build El Paso Dental School

Texas Tech University

Gayle and Woody Hunt’s $25 million donation to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso aims to address a critical shortage of oral-health professionals in the region.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Texas businessman Woody Hunt and his wife, Gayle, gave $25 million through their family foundation for a new dental school, which will be named for Mr. Hunt.

The couple cited El Paso County’s designation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an area with a shortage of dental-health professionals and the association between poor oral health and a number of diseases and medical conditions as factors behind the gift.

Mr. Hunt is executive chairman of the Board of Directors of Hunt Companies, a holding company that invests in real estate and other businesses.

University of Kentucky

Cathy Jacobs donated $10 million through the Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation to support undergraduate science education.

Most of the gift, $8 million, will go toward a new campus science building. The remainder will back future academic and research programs.

Ms. Jacob founded an advertising agency, which she sold some years ago, and is the widow of Don Jacobs Sr., an automobile dealer who died in 2015. The couple have given more than $20 million to the university over the years.

The Citadel

Rick and Mary Lee Bastin gave more than $6 million toward construction of a new home for the Citadel School of Business. The building will be named for the Bastins.

Mr. Bastin owns an automobile dealership in Palm Beach, Fla. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Citadel in 1965 and serves on the board of the college’s foundation.

Sarah Lawrence College

Suzanne Salter Arkin, a 1960 alumna, donated $2 million to establish the Suzanne Salter Arkin Science Endowment and expand research opportunities for undergraduates.

The aim of the donation is to attract science students who also want to get involved with the arts, humanities, language, literature, and the social sciences. Part of the endowment will support a new program providing stipends for summer externships for undergraduates who have begun significant research on campus.

Ms. Arkin is a former director of public relations at Sarah Lawrence and also worked at the magazines Mademoiselle, House and Garden, and Vogue. She is the wife of prominent lawyer Stanley Arkin.

University of Virginia

Political analyst Larry Sabato gave $2 million to kick off the university’s fundraising efforts to expand its Center for Politics, which he founded and directs. The money will help pay for new buildings, student-internship stipends, two professorships, and other programs.

Mr. Sabato said in a news release that he intends to help raise $30 million from other donors to expand the center. He has previously donated to the Virginia medical school’s pancreatic-cancer program and to the university’s library and scholarship programs.

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Kevin Plank, the founder of the athletic-apparel company Under Armour, gave $1 million through his Cupid Foundation.

The money will back the Partners in Excellence Scholarship Program, which provides need-based financial aid for elementary and high school students to attend Catholic schools in Baltimore City.

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.