News and analysis
July 18, 2016

Gifts Roundup: U. of Oregon Gets $10 Million to Endow Volcanology Professorships

University of Oregon

Geological research at the University of Oregon got a big boost from investment executive Gwendolyn Lillis and her husband, Charles Lillis, chairman of the university’s board.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Harvard Medical School

Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, pledged $20 million over five years to the medical school’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

The gift supports faculty, research fellows, and students. It will establish the Ronda Stryker and William Johnston Professorship in Global Health and support research in fields such as HIV, Ebola, and global surgery.

Ms. Stryker is a director of the Stryker Corporation, which produces medical devices and software.

University of Oregon

Charles and Gwendolyn Lillis gave $10 million to endow faculty positions for two volcanology researchers in the university’s Department of Earth Sciences. The gift includes a $2-million challenge to encourage other donors to support the program.

Ms. Lillis is managing general partner of Castle Rock Investments and managing director of the Lillis Family Foundation. She is trustee emerita of the University of Oregon Foundation and a former chair of its board. Mr. Lillis, who worked in the telecommunications industry, is an alumnus of the university’s Lundquist College of Business and chairs the university’s Board of Trustees.

Villanova University

Albert Lepage gave $10 million to the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to establish the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest. The center will house academic programs, conduct research, produce publications, and hold events to engage the public, policy makers, scholars, teachers, and students from history and other fields.

Mr. Lepage is an alumnus and a retired co-chairman of Lepage Bakeries.

Michigan State University

Robert Burgess gave $4.5 million to the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the university’s Eli Broad College of Business.

The gift, which includes $3 million outright and a $1.5-million estate gift, will be split between three main areas: helping students compete in national and international business contests, recruiting and retaining talented instructors with significant business experience, and supporting the institute’s general activities.

The institute will be renamed for Mr. Burgess, a Michigan State alumnus and past president of homebuilding company Pulte. He is a past chairman and director of the MSU Foundation.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Doris Stormyr Anderson bequeathed $2.8 million to finance three research professorships at the medical center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The gift from her estate was combined with money from Wake Forest Baptist’s Discovery Fund to create the positions.

Ms. Anderson, who died in 2013 at age 94, designated money in her estate plan to support cancer research at multiple academic medical centers in North Carolina.

Indiana University

Siblings David Eskenazi, Sandra Eskenazi, and Dori Eskenazi Meyers gave $2 million to support the recruitment of a new cancer researcher at the university’s School of Medicine.

A matching-gift program through the university’s bicentennial campaign will help the new faculty researcher launch early-stage investigations into ways to treat, diagnose, and prevent cancer. The donation will also support purchasing necessary equipment and hiring laboratory staff.

The new researcher will hold the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Professor in Hematology-Oncology, named for the donors’ parents, both university alumni. Lois Eskenazi was successfully treated for lung cancer by a university oncologist.

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 Eden Stiffman.