For over two centuries, a central tenet of the American Dream has been the idea that a free society and a good society can be one and the same: a nation where helping hands reach out to people in need; where we work together to advance our quality of life.
From our country’s earliest days, Americans have shown remarkable ingenuity in pursuit of that goal. Through the creation of hundreds of foundations and charitable organizations, philanthropic fundraising dramatically changed the course of higher education in America, establishing the College of William & Mary in 1693, the precursor of St. John’s College in 1696, and Yale in 1701, to name but a few. Philanthropy has dramatically changed the course of many areas of science, as well – not the least of which is academic medicine. In our own city, philanthropy built Southwestern Medical Foundation and later helped to build Southwestern Medical College, which later became known as UT Southwestern. Most people are aware of two sectors that make up American enterprise: the public sector – by which is generally meant government – and the private sector, the profit-seeking engine of our commerce. But, what we often fail to appreciate is our third sector, the non-profit, charitable sector that has made our country the remarkable country it is.
We are grateful for your generosity because it delivers an extraordinary promise – one that feels distinctly American. Your support gives the precious gift of better health for our whole community.
This sector is not a hybrid nestled between the other two. Rather, it is an idea all its own – or, more accurately, an ideal – based on an understanding that people working together for good can and will address a community’s needs with unmatched passion and agility. While philanthropic giving is not uniquely American, America’s degree of philanthropy remains a wonder of the world.
As we celebrate America’s founding and ideals on this Fourth of July, we also celebrate each of you. We are grateful for your generosity because it delivers an extraordinary promise – one that feels distinctly American. Your support gives the precious gift of better health for our whole community. We remain committed to inspiring continued progress by connecting your vision with the most innovative programs in our medical community. In spirit of our gratitude, here are some highlights of the impact you’ve made possible.
With all best wishes, I am
Kathleen M. Gibson President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation