four speakers at a conference

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the Foundation hosted an event, To Build a Great City, in the Debate Chamber on the Old Parkland Campus. It was a special evening with Jim Lehrer and Lee Cullum along with leaders in the Dallas community.

Together, we applauded the extraordinary commitment of Dallas’ business and civic leadership in supporting our medical foundation and building the quality medical school we know today as UT Southwestern.

In 1939, Dr. Edward H. Cary secured the charter for Southwestern Medical Foundation with the support of philanthropist Karl Hoblitzelle and other community leaders. Both men shared a grand vision, a vision to raise the quality of medical education in Dallas to compete with the very best schools in the country.

With Dallas’ growth and central geography, the question was asked, why not a great medical center in the Southwestern U.S.?

In 1943, despite financial and other urgent realities created by World War II, the Foundation formed Southwestern Medical College. Speaking at a joint meeting of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Dallas Citizens Council in 1943, Dr. Cary said, “The medical progress in any community is largely associated with the development of medical education within the community.”

The evening’s event shared many stories of the Dallas community’s ongoing support for UT Southwestern. 

“The business and civic leadership of Dallas was a critical piece in building world-class medical care in our city. With the extraordinary financial commitment of the Dallas Chamber and the Dallas Citizen’s Council in 1943 to help the Foundation establish Southwestern Medical College, they recognized the medical school was essential to building a great city,” said Kathleen M. Gibson, Foundation President and CEO.

“This medical school was built by the community, by the philanthropists, the businesses that pitched in early on, and so the source of this school came from the citizenry of Dallas, which makes UT Southwestern unique from any other school in the State of Texas,” said Bob Rowling, Foundation Chairman.

The event also showcased how the continued support of the Dallas community has enabled UT Southwestern to be a place of extraordinary impact.

“It’s a remarkable story to realize we had an institution that was actually a gleam in the civic eye less than 75 years ago, and now I think there is no doubt in anybody’s assessment that we stand among the tier of the most impeccable medical centers anywhere – not just in the country, but in the world,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, UT Southwestern President.

“In 1943, Dallas’ community leaders understood the importance of a quality medical center in building a great city, and that support continues today. For that, we are grateful,” Mayor Rawlings said. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported the Foundation and UT Southwestern, as builders of our great city and the quality medical care so
essential for our community’s progress.