Southwestern Medical

January 16, 2015 – Southwestern Medical Foundation continues to celebrate its legacy of advancing medical research, education and patient care in the community with ongoing 75th anniversary events and gifts. The Foundation has announced a $ 7.5 million gift to UT Southwestern Medical Center to provide support and inspire additional gifts to accelerate scientific discovery and strengthen its standing as a leader in neuroscience.

Since forming in 1939, the Foundation has nurtured the growth of UT Southwestern Medical Center from a fledgling medical school into one of the world’s preeminent academic research and medical centers. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985.

“I can think of no more outstanding example of the spirit of wisdom and human understanding than the work of the medical community in Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, one of several honorary chairs of the 75th Anniversary Steering Committee. “Since the founding of Southwestern Medical College in 1943, Southwestern Medical Foundation and this community have supported and helped to build the highest quality and most compassionate care possible for the citizens of the Southwestern United States. For that, all of the citizens of our city, and indeed of the world, are grateful.”


Over the twists and turns of its 75-year history, the Foundation helped transform UT Southwestern from shacks of flimsy plywood into a world-renowned medical district.


“Seventy-five years ago, Southwestern Medical Foundation was formed by leaders who knew that a great city would require great philanthropy. We celebrate the impact made by our founders and the vast contributions made by our generous community, both of which have led to extraordinary progress in medicine and will ensure our bright future,” said Robert B. Rowling, Chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

In 1939, Dallas visionaries and philanthropists Dr. Edward Cary and Karl Hoblitzelle led a community group in forming Southwestern Medical Foundation to promote the highest-quality medical education, research and patient care in Dallas and across the Southwestern U.S. The goal, as Dr. Cary put it, was to “inspire a great citizenship to greater deeds.”

In 1943 — despite the many challenges created by World War II — the Foundation formed Southwestern Medical College, which was housed for many years in temporary, un-air-conditioned plywood barracks constructed by the U.S. Army.

In 1949, the state of Texas authorized support for a second medical school, and the Foundation, with its assets, was chosen. But State funding was not enough and the medical center continued to lack funding for its building program, so the community stepped up to help build buildings, attract exceptional talent and fund incredible breakthroughs in health care.

As the medical center advanced, UT Southwestern assumed prominence and leadership in many battles, including important research into heart disease, nutrition, cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, stroke and brain disease.

“The emergence of UT Southwestern as one of the nation’s leading biomedical centers today is a testament to the vision of the founders and the leaders who came after them and their commitment to helping the community understand the need,” said William T. Solomon, Chairman of the 75th Anniversary Steering Committee.

In 1991, Southwestern Medical Foundation created its top award for community service to honor civic and business leaders who have given generously of their time and resources to make life better for others. In 1996, the award was renamed the Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award in honor of Dr. Sprague – the former President of UT Southwestern and Southwestern Medical Foundation.

In 2011, history came full circle when the Foundation moved back to the historic Old Parkland campus, where it first established Southwestern Medical College in 1943. Today, the Foundation’s assets have grown from less than $30 million in the mid-eighties to more than $800 million.


The Foundation’s financial success coincides with a period of unprecedented advancements, including the opening in late-2014 of the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. This leading-edge hospital is truly innovative in both design and practice. It was designed with patient care as the central theme and incorporates groundbreaking technology and art to create an unmatched experience for the caregivers, patients and their families.

Equally important is the transformation of Zale Lipshy University Hospital into a dedicated neuroscience hospital, with the intention of “prioritizing neurosciences from the most basic aspects of research right down to innovations and delivery of care today” as noted by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “This wonderful gift that Southwestern Medical Foundation is making on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary symbolizes the continued advancement of leadership in science, education and treatment that Southwestern Medical Foundation has always represented.”

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Southwestern Medical Foundation, we reflect on the profound ways in which our community has supported building one of the leading medical centers in the world. We are lastingly grateful to the founders, donors and all the other past and present visionaries who have made such an impact on our community,” said Kathleen Gibson, President of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Our most recent gift to UT Southwestern is just one small part of a 75-year legacy which has been the lasting gift of Southwestern Medical Foundation”.

The Foundation recently celebrated its 75-year anniversary with several events including donors and community leaders. Mayor Mike Rawlings and Mr. and Mrs. Peter O’Donnell, Jr. serve as Honorary Chairs of the Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Steering Committee, and William T. Solomon serves as its Chair.

Committee members include Edward H. Cary, III – the grandson of Foundation founder Dr. Edward H. Cary – Ruth Collins Altshuler, Jan Hart Black, Mary McDermott Cook, David R. Corrigan, Harlan R. Crow, Thomas M. Dunning, Robert A. Estrada, Nancy Strauss Halbreich, Paul W. Harris, Lyda Hill, James R. Huffines, Mrs. Eugene McDermott, Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., Caren H. Prothro, Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Catherine M. Rose, Lizzie Horchow Routman, Robert B. Rowling and Emmitt J. Smith, III.

Over the last 75 years, the Foundation’s distinguished Chairs have been Karl Hoblitzelle (1962-1967), George L. MacGregor (1973-1983), James W. Aston (1983-1988), Charles C. Sprague, M.D. (1988-1995), Paul M. Bass (1995- 2008), William T. Solomon (2008-2014) and Robert B. Rowling (2014-present). Following Dr. Cary and Karl Hoblitzelle, Foundation Presidents have included: George L. MacGregor (1962-1973), James W. Aston (1973-1981), James W. Keay (1981-1987), Charles C. Sprague, M.D. (1987-1988) Donald W. Seldin, M.D. (1988-1993), W. Plack Carr, Jr. (1995-2008), Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D. (2008-2012) and Kathleen Gibson (2012-present).

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Event Photos

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To see more photos from the 75th anniversary event, please click here.