Seattle Couple Gives $78 Million to Cancer Center
Stuart and Molly Sloan pledged $78 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center to establish a precision-oncology center that will be built on the cancer center’s Seattle campus and to expand the center’s work in precision oncology, which integrates fundamental biology, technology, immunology, data science, and clinical experience into the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
Plus, South Dakota billionaire Denny Sanford pledged $150 million to UC San Diego, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and four additional nonprofits received big gifts.
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A roundup of notable gifts compiled by the Chronicle:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Stuart and Molly Sloan pledged $78 million to establish a precision-oncology center that will be built on the cancer center’s Seattle campus and to support the expansion of the center’s work in precision oncology, which integrates fundamental biology, technology, immunology, data science, and clinical experience into the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
Stuart Sloan founded Sloan Capital Partners, a venture-capital firm in Seattle. He is a former CEO of Quality Food Centers, a supermarket chain in the Seattle area, and of Egghead Inc., a now-shuttered software company. He led Schucks Auto Supply from 1967 to 1984, the first 20 years of his career.
University of California at San Diego
The billionaire banker Denny Sanford pledged $150 million to expand the university’s stem-cell research with new programs that will focus on space-based stem-cell science, and to establish the Sanford Stem Cell Institute.
The money will primarily be used to launch three space-related stem-cell programs, including one focused on research that will be conducted in a lab located aboard the International Space Station. Another will concentrate on research into in-depth space fitness and orbital medicine aimed at benefiting both astronauts in space and humans on earth. A third new program will support the development of a business focused on regenerative medicine that would also conduct stem-cell research in space. Some of the gift will also support professorships and a fellowship.
Sanford has given extensively to scientific research, health care, education, and other causes. This is his third big donation to the university for stem-cell programs. He gave the university $100 million in 2013 to launch the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, which conducts clinical trials and other research, and he gave $30 million in 2008 to create the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.
Sanford has given more than $3 billion to charity since 2005 and has appeared on the Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 50 list of the biggest donors 12 times.
His reputation has suffered since 2020 when state and federal authorities opened a series of investigations of his possible possession of child pornography on an electronic device. He has not been charged with a crime, and while the South Dakota investigation was closed in May, it is unclear if the federal investigation is ongoing.
Thomas Kline pledged $50 million to support the law school, which will be named the Thomas Kline School of Law. Kline gave the university the freedom to decide where to direct the money within the law school. University officials said in a news release that they plan to use some of it to support student scholarships, faculty grants, the law school’s Bar Preparation program, and other programs. This is the second time a law school has been named for Kline: In 2014 he gave Drexel University $50 million to support its law school, which was then named for him.
Kline earned a J.D. degree from Duquesne in 1978 and is a founding partner of Kline & Specter, a personal-injury firm in Philadelphia. He is a lawyer of some note. He was one of the lawyers who tried a 2019 case against Johnson & Johnson in which men who took the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal claimed that it caused them to develop breasts. He helped to win an $8 billion verdict for his clients. Kline also led the team of plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Amtrak 188 settlement, in which Amtrak paid $265 million to settle claims related to a 2015 train-derailment crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.
High Point University
John and Lorraine Charman gave $30 million to help pay for the construction of a new library, which will be named for them and, when done, will serve as the university’s main library. The new John and Lorraine Charman Library is scheduled to be completed by 2026.
John Charman retired last year as CEO and executive chairman of Sompo Holdings, an insurance company in Tokyo. Before joining Sompo in 2013, he founded and held chief executive roles at a series of companies, including Axis Capital Holdings. He started his career at Lloyd’s of London, a syndicate that underwrites general insurance and reinsurance.
Lorraine Charman is a retired human-resources executive. She began her career at Racemark International, a manufacturer in Calhoun, Ga., before joining the financial-services company KeyCorp, where she became vice president of employee relations. She later led human resources at Axis Capital Holdings.
University of Virginia School of Nursing
William and Joanne Conway pledged $14 million to support financial aid for nursing students and to help address the nation’s severe nursing shortage, a challenge that has intensified in recent years by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Conways’ commitment will provide at least 175 scholarships to graduate and undergraduate students to cover tuition, school fees, room and board, and books. It will also support scholarships specifically for Clinical Nurse Leader master’s students who have transitioned to nursing from other careers, as well as doctoral students who plan to become nursing professors and nurse scientists.
William Conway is a co-founder and interim CEO of the Carlyle Group, a private-equity firm in Washington. Including their latest donation, the Conways have devoted a total of nearly $152 million over the last decade to shoring up and expanding nursing programs at universities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. They appeared on the Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 50 list of the biggest donors in 2020.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park pledged $10 million to support the renovation of the museum’s Oscar L. and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang Wing for modern and contemporary art. Museum officials plan to name a gallery in the new wing for the donors. Kim is an art collector and has served on the museum’s Board of Trustees since 2017.
Kim is a billionaire who founded and is chairman of MBK Partners, a private-equity firm in Seoul Korea. He previously served as president of Carlyle Asia Partners and was a member of the firm’s management committee. Earlier in his career, he was managing director and COO of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking for Salomon Smith Barney and an executive director at Goldman Sachs. Kim was born in Changwon City, South Korea, and emigrated to the United States in his teens. He later attended college and business school here, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. In addition to his finance career, Kim is also a writer. His coming-of-age novel, Offerings, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2020.
Park is an investment banker who currently serves as the managing director of ESG Investment Management at Temasek, a holding company owned by the government of Singapore. Earlier in her career, she built and led the global environmental-markets initiatives at Goldman Sachs and was a managing director and the head of Environmental Markets and Innovation in the Sustainable Finance Group at Goldman Sachs. She is the daughter of the late Park Tae-joon, a former prime minister of South Korea who also founded Posco, a steel manufacturer.
Colorado State University Athletics
Patricia Stryker gave $5 million through her Bohemian Foundation to back women’s athletics programs by increasing the budget of the building-upgrade project for the women’s soccer and softball programs; support the expansion of locker-room spaces for volleyball, softball, and soccer; and build a locker room for the women’s golf, tennis, and track and field teams.
Stryker is a billionaire heiress to the Stryker Corporation fortune. The medical-products company was founded by her grandfather Homer Stryker, a surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. She is the former owner of Stryker Sonoma Winery, a 40-acre winery in Alexander Valley, Calif. She sold the winery in 2016 to Foley Family Wines for an undisclosed sum.
To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated regularly.