Roy and Diana Vagelos Give $175 Million for Physician-Scientist Training at Columbia U.
Also, Mary and Richard Templeton donated $20 million to Southern Methodist University for engineering education and scholarships, and California State University at Fullerton has received a pledge of $4 million for desert-science studies.
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A roundup of notable gifts compiled by the Chronicle:
Columbia University, Irving Medical Center
Roy and Diana Vagelos have given $175 million to create the Vagelos Institute for Biomedical Research Education.
Of the total, $125 million will establish an endowment to offer new opportunities in health-science research for doctoral candidates in biomedical science, particularly Ph.D. students from historically marginalized backgrounds, and give them more flexibility to explore their research interests at the beginning of their careers. Another $50 million will open up new career pathways for physician-scientists and help them train in both fundamental biology and clinical medicine.
Roy Vagelos, a physician-scientist by training, retired as chairman of the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company.
In 2017, the couple gave $250 million to create an endowment for financial aid and provide full-tuition scholarships for students in need at Columbia’s Roy and Diana Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. They have appeared several times on the Chronicle’s Philanthropy 50 annual ranking of donors who give the most; they were No. 39 in our most recent tally for their $55 million gift to Barnard College last year.
California Baptist University
Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler donated $28.5 million to the Christian university. In honor of the unrestricted gift, it will name its basketball arena and events center after the Fowlers.
Dale Fowler founded Fowler Properties, a real-estate developer in Orange County, Calif. The couple have two grandchildren who graduated from the university.
Southern Methodist University
Mary and Richard Templeton gave $20 million to the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. Of the total, $15 million will support engineering education and research, including postdoctoral fellowships and research, financial aid for doctoral students, and undergraduate scholarships for women and students from underrepresented backgrounds. The remaining $5 million will endow a fund for the school’s deanship.
Richard Templeton is the president and CEO of Texas Instruments, which designs and manufactures semiconductors and other electronics. He has served as a trustee of the university since 2008. Mary Templeton is the president of the Richard and Mary Templeton Foundation.
California State University at Fullerton
Brian and Lori Rennie have pledged $4 million to back desert-science studies, conservation, and research on climate change. The planned bequest comprises a cash gift as well as 20 acres of their desert property near Palm Springs, Calif., adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park.
Brian Rennie, who graduated from the university in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in biological science, is the retired owner of the commercial photography and advertising business Benchmark Studios. He is an expert rock and mountain climber who has summited the Matterhorn in the Alps, Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Whitney in California, and El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, among other major peaks.
NYC Health and Hospitals
Laurie Tisch gave $3 million through her Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund to expand the health system’s Arts in Medicine program, which Tisch created with a previous gift of $1.5 million in 2019.
The arts program commissions murals and shares art collections for patients and staff members to enjoy. It operates in 11 hospitals throughout the citywide system as well as in five long-term-care facilities and several community clinics. The new gift will help the hospital system acquire new works by artists who are representative of the hospitals’ communities and gender diversity. It will also continue existing programs that include the Lullaby Project, which is a collaboration with Carnegie Hall, and the Music and Memory program, which personalizes playlists for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive loss.
Tisch is an heiress to the Loews Corporation fortune, which has holdings in insurance, drilling rigs, natural gas pipelines, and hotels.
James Madison University
Angela and Carl Reddix have committed $1.1 million to create the Reddix Center for First Generation Students and endow a scholarship for students who are the first in their families to attend college.
Angela Reddix is the founder and CEO of ARDX, a consulting firm for health care management and information technology. She also founded Envision Lead Grow, a charity in Norfolk, Va., that helps girls of color develop skills in entrepreneurship.
The couple are both graduates of the university. Carl Reddix graduated from its College of Business in 1988; Angela Reddix earned a degree in marketing there in 1990.
To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.