Two family foundations with deep UT Southwestern roots, the Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation and the Perkins-Prothro Foundation, have made a joint $250,000 gift to Southwestern Medical Foundation to support construction of the medical center’s new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, scheduled for completion in 2014.
The late Vin Prothro and his wife, Caren, have been instrumental in helping UT Southwestern reach some its most defining milestones. Mr. Prothro, the founder, former chairman and CEO of Dallas Semiconductor Corp., played a pivotal role in helping the medical center obtain the land for its North Campus. A plaza connecting three biomedical buildings on the North Campus, named the C. Vincent Prothro Plaza and Gardens, was dedicated in honor of the business and civic leader in 2001, one year after his death.
“I know Vin loved his association with UT Southwestern and all who have made it the institution it is,” said Mrs. Prothro. “I especially appreciate the leadership of Joe Prothro, chairman of the Perkins-Prothro Foundation, in agreeing to participate in this project. We are all glad to make this investment in the new Clements Hospital, which will be state-of-the-art when completed.”
Mrs. Prothro has continued to serve as a civic and philanthropic leader at Southwestern Medical Foundation, where she is a longtime trustee, and at other institutions throughout Dallas. She has earned numerous honors for her civic contributions, including the prestigious Linz Award, the most prestigious civic award in Texas.
In 2002 the Dallas-based Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation gave $5 million to endow the C. Vincent Prothro Center for Research in Basic Neuroscience at UT Southwestern. In 1985 Mr. Prothro personally raised $12.5 million in venture capital to launch Dallas Biomedical Corp., a company that invested in startup biotech initiatives at the medical center during the 1980s and early 1990s. He also served for more than a decade as chairman of the Friends of the Center for Human Nutrition, which contributed more than $2 million under his leadership for nutrition research at the medical center. The couple also made several personal gifts to the medical center over the years and received Southwestern Medical Foundation’s Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award.
Mr. Prothro’s parents, Charles and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro – who founded the Perkins-Prothro Foundation in Wichita Falls, Texas – began the family tradition of philanthropy and service decades earlier. The elder Mrs. Prothro was the daughter of the late Joe J. and Lois Perkins, who were founding contributors to Southern Methodist University in 1913, and later, in the early 1940s, endowed the SMU Perkins School of Theology, named in their honor. She died in 2009, after giving millions to educational institutions across Texas – most notably to SMU, where she created and fortified countless programs.