Tom Graves has experienced firsthand the life-saving quality of health care at UT Southwestern Medical Center. When diagnosed with prostate cancer, he considered himself most fortunate to have come under the care of Dr. Claus Roehrborn, Chairman of the Department of Urology at UT Southwestern. Over the years he has come to know some of UT Southwestern’s best doctors. In gratitude for the care he has received, Tom and his wife Laura named Southwestern Medical Foundation as the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy and became a member of The Heritage Society, a donor recognition group which honors those who have made planned gifts that benefit Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern.
Having learned about giving through life insurance when he was involved with the foundation of his parish church which was working to build its endowment, Tom liked the ability to leverage his available funds to make a much larger gift than would be possible otherwise. “With most of my assets tied up elsewhere, this gift was very efficient for me. It is an excellent way to make a gift that will make a difference in the community.”
His relationship with UT Southwestern was further deepened when he became involved in raising funds through the Order of St. John, a Christian Order dedicated to the mission of preventing and relieving sickness and injury, to send doctors to the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. Working with UT Southwestern’s Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. James McCulley, a fund was created, Dallas Surgeons Fund, to send UT Southwestern Fellows to Jerusalem to work alongside and educate hospital doctors in more advanced techniques of eye care and to treat patient with eye disorders. This relationship has been a mutually rewarding one for both patients and UT Southwestern Fellows.
“With most of my assets tied up elsewhere, this gift was very effcient for me. It is an excellent way to make a gift that will make a difference in the community."
Tom hopes his gift of life insurance will encourage people to give back to a place where he has received such excellent care. He has become acquainted with remarkable people at UT Southwestern over the years. “It is as unique a place as anywhere you will find.”
“Our community has been truly gifted with leaders who invest in the initiatives that drive our city forward,” remarked Kathleen Gibson, CEO and President of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Tom and Laura Graves are such civic leaders who invest their time, talents, and treasure in helping others. We are deeply inspired by their story of thoughtful planned giving.”
Tom’s involvement extends beyond his personal giving. He is a community leader and involved in leadership roles at many organizations. Until recently, he was Treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. He has also been a trustee of Gaston Episcopal Hospital Foundation, which has supported UT Southwestern with significant gifts over the years. He recently became a member of the Executive Committee of the Chancellor’s Council of the UT System, giving him a great platform to be an advocate for UT Southwestern.