Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich appreciate life’s treasures – family, friends, good health, and the joy that comes from making the world better. Together they encourage goodness and effect positive and transformative change in their community. Their causes are many and range from health care and medical research, to culture and arts, education, and helping the disadvantaged.
Longtime friends of Southwestern Medical Foundation, the Halbreichs joined The Heritage Society in 2019 with a legacy gift to invest in further discovery and treatment of glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. Finding a cure for glioblastoma is important to Mrs. Halbreich after witnessing the tremendous toll the disease took on her mother, Annette Strauss, and everyone who surrounded her through her cancer journey. Strauss was a philanthropist and politician who spent many years in service to this community, including two 2-year terms as mayor of Dallas. She passed away in 1998.
“We wanted my mother’s death not to have been in vain. With our gift, we hope glioblastoma can one day become a manageable chronic disease with more effective treatments so that people can live their lives without suffering,” said Mrs. Halbreich.
Those who know the Halbreichs have witnessed the union of two remarkable human beings and life partners. Married for 35 years, Mr. and Mrs. Halbreich bring out the best in each other and look to the future through hopeful eyes.
Mr. Halbreich is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of AIM Media Management LLC. He was Chairman and CEO of Sun-Times Media LLC; Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of American Consolidated Media, Dallas; and President and General Manager of The Dallas Morning News, where he spent 24 years. He has served and continues to serve in leadership positions on numerous national and local business and nonprofit boards.
“Nancy and I are lucky because we share so many interests including a commitment to helping others who aren’t as fortunate as we are. As the only son of Holocaust survivors, I know up close the horrific consequences of man’s inhumanity to man. The past has to teach us about the future.”
A native Dallasite, Mrs. Halbreich enjoyed a successful career in fashion retail, working for Neiman-Marcus, The Village Garden, SL Art Gallery, Stanley Korshak, Sotheby’s, and Heritage Auctions. She has worked tirelessly to make Dallas a better place, devoting herself to many causes, sitting on the boards of various organizations, and winning numerous awards for her philanthropic and community work.
“My parents treated me like I was the center of the universe, but they taught me very early that I wasn’t and that the world was composed mainly of other people, most of whom were not as lucky as I was. From a young age, I was always very mindful that we are all here to help each other. My parents were my greatest role models and showed me how rewarding it felt to make someone’s life a little easier,” said Mrs. Halbreich.
While her mother served as mayor, Mrs. Halbreich was given a unique opportunity to see Dallas from behind the scenes. She fondly recalls watching her mother build bridges between disparate parts of society with grace and compassion.
“One day we were driving downtown, and we saw a mother and her young children living under a bridge,” she said. “My mother was morally outraged enough to do something about it. She helped create the first and only shelter in the nation for families and children. I remember after one Thanksgiving dinner bringing shoes to the shelter for families in need.”
Advancing Health Care for All
The Halbreich’s relationship with UT Southwestern deepened after Mayor Strauss was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 1998.
“I watched how the doctors, nurses, technicians, and staff treated my mother with such kindness and care. I am so proud of what UT Southwestern has become and proud that Jeremy and I can play a small part in its longevity. The institution has attracted international leaders in clinical care and research who are teaching the next generation of physicians and health care workers. The scientists are on the threshold of so many breakthroughs that will change the course of medicine forever.”
It was through UT Southwestern that she became involved with Parkland, the Dallas community’s public academic health system. For decades, UT Southwestern faculty have been caring for patients at Parkland, the safety-net for Dallas County that serves the most vulnerable patient populations. Mrs. Halbreich served as Co-Chair for the campaigns to build both the new Parkland Hospital and the new Breast Center.
“People should not have to worry about whether they can afford a prescription refill or put food on their family’s table. We should all have access to good health care. I have seen how UT Southwestern doctors treat their Parkland patients with dignity and respect. My affiliation with UT Southwestern and Parkland has been by far the most meaningful relationship in my life, other than my family and friends,” she said.
The Halbreichs walk alongside Southwestern Medical Foundation in their mission to inspire and advance progress in medicine. Since 2002, Mrs. Halbreich has served as a board member of the Foundation and has been a member of the Public Affairs Committee since 2011. She was a member of the UT Southwestern President’s Advisory Board from 2017-2020 and is currently a member of the Campaign for the Brain Steering Committee, supporting UT Southwestern’s top priority to successfully treat and cure brain disease and injury. In 2014, the Halbreichs endowed two professorships at UT Southwestern. Earlier, they helped establish the Annette G. Strauss Center for Neuro-Oncology where they endowed a professorship in honor of Nancy’s father, Ted Strauss. Mr. Halbreich serves on the President’s Advisory Board at UT Southwestern as well as on its Government Affairs Committee.
“Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich lead the way in their devotion to, and love for, our community. This tremendous gift brings remarkable support to the Peter O’Donnell Brain Institute Campaign for the Brain, and helps assure the success and furtherance of the important work underway in the Annette G. Strauss Center in Neuro-Oncology. We are forever grateful for Nancy and Jeremy’s leadership and friendship and what a great honor to help steward the legacy of this generous, giving, and accomplished family.”
Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation
Through the years, the couple is grateful to have witnessed a renaissance in the rejuvenation and rebuilding of the city. They love Dallas and its people, who they say are welcoming to newcomers and optimistically embrace the city’s growth. They are excited about the future and are forever optimistic about how life will be for future generations.
“I’ve always believed in hope, even during the darkest of times. Change is in the next generation and the generation after that. Young people are bright and articulate, they are interested in one another, and they care about things bigger than themselves. They are my hope for the future,” said Mrs. Halbreich.
To learn more about legacy planning, please contact Randal Daugherty at (214) 648-3069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more of our 2020 Planning Matters Fall series: