News and analysis
April 13, 2015

Kirk Douglas Pays for a Surgical Robot, and $100 Million Jump-Starts a Campaign

Joe Kohen, FilmMagic, Getty Images

Kirk and Anne Douglas

Ernest Rady, a real-estate and insurance company founder, gave $100 million to the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego to jump-start the university’s $2-billion fundraising campaign.

Most of the money will endow professorships and provide financial incentives to attract and retain top scholars.

The university named the business school after Mr. Rady when he gave $30 million in 2004.

Other New Gifts

  • Henry and Marion Bloch are donating $11.7 million through their Bloch Family Foundation to renovate the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art so it can expand its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Along with the cash gift, the Blochs are also giving the museum a collection of paintings they had promised in 2010. Mr. Bloch co-founded H & R Block, a tax-services and banking company.

  • David J. Haemisegger and his wife, Nancy Nasher, gave $5-million to endow the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The organization will name its Soluna: International Music & Arts Festival for the couple’s family. The donors own and operate a shopping center in Dallas.

  • Actor Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, have donated $2.3-million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for a surgical robot that will help correct urological problems in children and infants. Some of the gift will also go toward training physicians to use the technology.

    The couple has been giving to the hospital for 15 years. Mr. Douglas told The Hollywood Reporter that hospital officials had mentioned three machines on their wish list, including the surgical robot.

    "We picked the most complicated and the most expensive one, and we gave extra money for the doctors to make themselves familiar with the machine," said Mr. Douglas. "I never saw it until I Googled it, and I can’t tell you how impressed I was by what we were giving."

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

Send an e-mail to Maria Di Mento.