The 2004 Slate 60: Donations

Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Feb. 28 2005 5:26 AM

The 2004 Slate 60: Donations

The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.

Susan T. Buffett$2.55 billion to the Buffett Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Susan A. Buffett Foundation, and Spirit Foundation. Buffett, a director of Berkshire Hathaway, in Omaha, Neb., who died on July 29, 2004, at 72, left approximately $2.4 billion to the Buffett Foundation, in Omaha. Ms. Buffett was the wife of Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and chief executive officer, and was the president of the foundation, which supports education, medical research, and efforts to curb population growth. She also left $50 million to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, in Decatur, Ill., which was founded by one of her two sons. The foundation supports wildlife and environmental causes and education and human services programs. Buffett gave $50 million to her daughter's fund, the Susan A. Buffett Foundation, in Omaha, which supports early childhood education for low-income families, the arts, reproductive health, and Christian organizations. She left an additional $50 million to the Spirit Foundation, in Omaha, which is run by her son Peter A. Buffett, and supports arts, education, and human service organizations. According to Susan Buffett's will, the money derives from 31,707 shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock that she owned at the time of her death. The exact amount of the gift to the Buffett Foundation will depend on changes in the value of the stock once Buffett's estate is settled later this year. Susan Buffett was the wife of Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and chief executive officer.

William H. (Bill) III and Melinda F. Gates

William H. (Bill) III and Melinda F. Gates $627 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates, 49, chairman and chief software architect of the Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash., and his wife, Melinda, 39, paid $627 million toward a pledge of approximately $3.35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in Seattle. This most recent infusion of cash came from a Microsoft stock dividend that Bill Gates received in late 2004. (A profile of the Gates Foundation appeared in the Nov. 11, 2004, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

John M. Templeton$550 million to the John Templeton Foundation. Templeton, 92, a former international investor and mutual-funds manager, gave $550 million to the John Templeton Foundation, in West Conshohocken, Pa. The foundation supports research that focuses on the relationships between science and religion and spirituality and health, and, to a lesser degree, on programs that promote free enterprise and character development. Ninety percent of the gift was given in stock and 10 percent in cash. Templeton, who was born in Winchester, Tenn., was knighted in 1987 by Queen Elizabeth II for his accomplishments, including the creation of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities.

Caroline Wiess Law$450 million to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Baylor College of Medicine; and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Law, a Houston oil heiress and art collector who died on Dec. 24, 2003, at 85, left an estimated $400 million—nearly her entire estate—to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A portion of the bequest includes 54 works of art collectively valued at approximately $30 million. The collection, which Law began amassing in the 1950s, includes major paintings by de Kooning, Miró, Picasso, and Rothko, as well as sculptures by Jean Arp and others. Law also gave the museum $165 million—$140 million of which came in the form of stock—to augment its operating and acquisitions endowments, and an additional $6 million in cash for the museum's general use. Sixty percent of the remaining money is designated for the operating endowment, and 40 percent will go to the acquisitions endowment. Law also left $25 million to the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, to endow a fund for academic programs, and $25 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, also in Houston, for two research programs in its Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. One program focuses on the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer; the other takes a multidisciplinary approach to research on cancer prevention.

George D. Cornell$196 million to 62 organizations. Cornell, a retired banker who died in 2003 at 93, gave $93.3 million to Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., to support scholarships, endow the presidency, and finance professorships and academic programs. Cornell, who lived in Delray Beach, Fla., was a 1935 graduate of the college and a longtime trustee. He also made an unrestricted $50 million bequest to Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., which was established by one of his relatives, Ezra Cornell. Cornell gave $5.9 million to Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, to construct a building and establish a scholarship fund for the honors college in memory of his wife, Harriet, who died in 1999. Cornell's other large bequests included $5.4 million to Bethesda Hospital Foundation, in Boynton Beach, Fla., to create an institute for rehabilitation medicine, and $3.9 million to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, in Delray Beach, for its Japanese gardens. George Cornell was the son of Edward Cornell, a lawyer and director for the IBM Corp., and Esther Haviland Cornell, an heiress to the Haviland China fortune.

Leo A. and Kay K. Dreyland valued at $180 million to the L-A-D Foundation. Leo Drey, 88, a St. Louis businessman, and his wife, Kay, 71, donated Pioneer Forest to their L-A-D Foundation, in St. Louis. In 1951, Leo Drey purchased the first piece of land in the Missouri Ozarks that would ultimately grow to become Pioneer Forest, a 146,000-acre tract of land valued at $180 million. He founded and serves as chair of the L-A-D Foundation, which manages nearly 3,500 acres in Missouri. The foundation has agreed to keep the forest intact and to continue using environmentally sustainable forest-management techniques.

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre and Pam Omidyar $173 million to the Omidyar Network and other groups. Pierre Omidyar, 37, founder and chairman of eBay, the online auction site, and his wife, Pam, 37, founder and chairman of HopeLab in Palo Alto, Calif., which develops tools that use digital technology to help chronically ill children, gave $93.9 million to the nonprofit arm of the Omidyar Network, in Redwood City, Calif. The Omidyar Network is the successor to the Omidyar Foundation, which Pierre Omidyar closed in 2004; the network donates to charities and also supports businesses committed to social change. The couple co-founded the network, and Pierre Omidyar serves as its chief executive officer. The Omidyars also gave $57.8 million to community foundations and charities, and $21.4 million to nonprofit organizations for projects that focus on grass-roots media, microfinance, technology, and voting. (An article on Pierre Omidyar's philanthropy appeared in the April 15, 2004, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

Bernard Marcus$161 million to the Billi and Bernie Marcus Foundation. Marcus, 75, a co-founder of the Home Depot chain, gave $161 million to his foundation to build the Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta. The aquarium, which is under construction, is scheduled to open in late 2005. (A profile of Marcus' philanthropy appeared in the Aug. 22, 2002, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg $138 million to arts, education, health care, and social services organizations. Bloomberg, 63, the current mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P., gave $138 million to more than 600 organizations that deal with the arts, education, health care, and social services, including the American National Red Cross, in Washington; the Carnegie Corp., in New York; Dance Theater of Harlem, in New York; and the New York City Department of Education's Fund for Public Schools. Bloomberg plans to release a complete list of his 2004 donations in June.

Burton D. Morgan$112 million to the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. Morgan, who died March 6, 2003, at 87, left a $56 million bequest to the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Akron, Ohio, to support educational programs that promote free enterprise, invention, and entrepreneurship. Morgan established the foundation in 1967. He also left $56 million to the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, which is named after his wife, who is 86. The foundation is based in Hudson, Ohio, and supports arts, education, and mental-health organizations. Morgan was the founder and a past president of Morgan Adhesives, which makes self-adhesive paper and films.

Sidney E. Frank$100 million to Brown University. Frank, 85, of New Rochelle, N.Y., the chairman and founder of the Sidney Frank Importing Co. and the creator of the Grey Goose brand of vodka, donated $100 million to Brown University for undergraduate scholarships. Frank attended Brown for one year in the late 1930s, but left because he could not afford the tuition.

Sally Reahard$94.6 million to the Nature Conservancy, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Historic Charleston Foundation, and Lowcountry Open Land Trust. Reahard, an Indianapolis heiress who died July 15, 2003, at 95, left $70 million to the Nature Conservancy, in Arlington, Va., of which $41 million will go to the Indiana chapter. While most of the money will be used to buy land in Indiana, much of the remaining $29 million was earmarked to protect coastal wetlands in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. Reahard also gave $5.5 million to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for its European art galleries. Although she hadn't been to Charleston, S.C., since she was a young woman, Reahard left gifts to benefit three Charleston institutions. She donated $15.5 million to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in Washington, for Drayton Hall, a preserved plantation house outside Charleston. She also left $3 million to the Historic Charleston Foundation, and $1.1 million to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

Paul G. Allen$71.9 million to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and other nonprofit organizations. Allen, 52, co-founder of Microsoft and founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., an investment company in Seattle, gave $56 million to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which supports arts and culture programs, scientific and technological innovations, and projects focused on community development, social change, and young people. Allen also donated $15.9 million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, earmarked for the institute's Allen Brain Atlas. The Atlas Project conducts research on brain functions and disorders. A portion of Allen's donations also went to nonprofit groups that work in the arts and culture, health, human services, and science.

Robert Edward (Ted) Turner

Robert Edward (Ted) Turner $68 million to the United Nations Foundation, Better World Fund, Turner Foundation, and Florida A&M University. Turner, 66, founder of CNN and TBS, and chairman of Turner Enterprises, gave $62 million to the United Nations Foundation, in Washington, and to the Better World Fund, also in Washington, which he created to inform the public about the work of the United Nations. Turner also gave $6 million to the Turner Foundation, in Atlanta, which he established in 1990 to support projects on the environment and population, and $90,000 to Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, for unrestricted support.

Thomas S. Monaghan$63.5 million to the Ave Maria Foundation. Monaghan, 67, founder and former chief executive officer of the Domino's Pizza chain, gave $63.5 million to his Ave Maria Foundation, in Ann Arbor, Mich., which supports Roman Catholic causes. The funds will go to Ave Maria University, in Naples, Fla., and to the Ave Maria School of Law, in Ann Arbor. Monaghan, who is chairman of the Ave Maria Foundation, pledged $220 million in 2002 to establish the university, which enrolled its inaugural class in 2003, and $50 million in 1999 to the law school, which opened in 2000.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey $50 million to the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation. Winfrey, 51, chairman of Harpo Inc., a production company, and host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, gave $45 million to the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, in Chicago. Winfrey's foundation supports educational programs for women and children in the United States and abroad. She also gave $5 million to the Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation, in Chicago, which supports a leadership academy for girls in South Africa that is scheduled to open in 2007.

Charles T. and Nancy B. Munger$43.5 million to Stanford University. Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company in Omaha, and his wife, Nancy, donated $43.5 million to Stanford University, in California. The gift will be used to construct housing for students at the law school and other graduate programs at Stanford. Nancy Munger received a bachelor's degree from the university in 1945 and once served on its board of trustees. Several of the couple's children and grandchildren also attended Stanford.

W. Jerome Frautschi$41.6 million to the Overture Foundation. Frautschi, 73, former owner of Webcrafters, a printing press in Madison, Wis., gave stock valued at $41.6 million to the Overture Foundation, in Madison. The gift is part of a $205 million pledge that Frautschi, who established the foundation in 1996 and serves as its chairman, announced in 1998. The gift went to create the Overture Center for the Arts, which includes the new Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, formerly known as the Madison Art Center, and two renovated theaters.

Robert C. Atkins

Robert C. Atkins—$40 million to the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation. Atkins, a cardiologist who developed the low-carbohydrate diet that bears his name, left $40 million to the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation upon his death in April 2003 at 72. The foundation is administered by the National Philanthropic Trust, in Jenkintown, Pa. His wife, Veronica, who authorized the bequest from her husband's estate, is chairman of the foundation, which supports the study of the safety and efficacy of low-carbohydrate diets and research on health issues associated with obesity and diabetes. The foundation is expected to receive future bequests from Robert Atkins' estate. (A profile of the Atkins Foundation appeared in the May 27, 2004, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

Lawrence J. Ellison$40 million to the Ellison Medical Foundation. Ellison, 61, chief executive officer of the Oracle Corp., a computer-software company in Redwood City, Calif., gave $40 million to the Ellison Medical Foundation, in Bethesda, Md. The foundation, which Mr. Ellison created in 1997, supports biomedical research on aging and on research areas that might not be supported by other sources.

Jackson T. Stephens and Warren A. and Harriet C. Stephens$30 million to the Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation. Jackson T. Stephens, 81, chairman of Stephens Inc., a brokerage firm in Little Rock, Ark., along with his son, Warren A. Stephens, president and chief executive officer of Stephens Inc., and Warren's wife, Harriet, gave stock valued at $30 million to the Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation, in Little Rock. The gift to the private school's endowment will support faculty recruitment, programs, and scholarships and financial aid. Harriet Stephens serves as president of the school's board of trustees.

David and Marlene Tepper$27 million to the David Tepper Charitable Foundation. Tepper, 47, founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a hedge-fund investment firm in Chatham, N.J., and his wife, Marlene, gave $27 million to the David Tepper Charitable Foundation, which supports arts, education, and human services organizations.

Hansjoerg Wyss$25 million to the Harvard Business School. Wyss, chairman and chief executive officer of Synthes Inc., a medical-device company based in Switzerland, gave $25 million to Harvard Business School, in Boston, for its doctoral programs. The school plans to use the money for fellowships and stipends for doctoral students, field research by students, course development, faculty training, and facilities renovation. Wyss received an M.B.A. from the school in 1965. His company, which also has operations in the United States, specializes in orthopedic instruments and implants.

Ida Belle Young$22.2 million to Auburn University at Montgomery, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Young Meadows Presbyterian Church, and Fairview United Methodist Church. Young, who died last year, left $22.2 million to four institutions in her native Montgomery, Ala. Auburn University at Montgomery received $10 million to endow student scholarships and professorships. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts received $10 million to acquire non-abstract American art. Young Meadows Presbyterian Church and Fairview United Methodist Church received $2 million and $200,000, respectively. Young, a businesswoman and cattle rancher, had served on the advisory board of the university and as a trustee of the museum.

Louise Wheelock Willson$21 million to 12 organizations in Connecticut and Virginia. Willson, of Simsbury, Conn., who died in April 2004 at 74, left gifts totaling $18 million to 11 organizations in Connecticut, as well as $3 million to the Madeira School, in McLean, Va., a girls' preparatory school that she graduated from in 1948. The Nutmeg Ballet, in Torrington, Conn., received $5 million; the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, in Hartford, received $3 million; and the New Britain Museum of American Art received $2 million. The following Connecticut organizations received $1 million each: the Connecticut Opera Association, in Hartford; the Hartford Hospital; the Hartford Stage Company; the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; the Warner Theatre, in Torrington; the White Memorial Conservation Center, in Litchfield; and the Westminster School, in Simsbury, for its Centennial Theater Festival. With the exception of the gift to Westminster School, all the gifts were unrestricted. Willson's family helped create Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a seed-producing company that was bought by DuPont in 1999.

Arthur M. Blank$18.9 million to the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Blank, a co-founder and former chief executive officer of the Home Depot chain who is currently the owner of the Atlanta Falcons football team, gave the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, in Atlanta, $13.8 million in stock last year and $5.1 million in cash. The foundation supports programs that assist low-income families.

Helen Way Klingler$18 million to Marquette University. Klingler, who died in 2004 at 101, left $18 million to Marquette University, in Milwaukee, to establish a competitive research fund for faculty members. The fund includes provisions for two one-year sabbaticals for selected faculty members that allow them to focus on their scholarship. Klingler also gave the university more than $15 million during her lifetime, and the university has renamed the college of arts and sciences after her. She was the daughter of Sylvester B. Way, a former chairman of the Wisconsin Electric Power Co. Although Klingler did not attend Marquette, she was a friend of Father John Raynor, a former president of the university, and converted to Catholicism at a chapel on its campus.

Ruth L. Kilton$17 million to the Rhode Island Foundation. Kilton, of Warwick, R.I., who died in January 2004 at 96, left $17 million to the Rhode Island Foundation, in Providence. The new funds were added to the John B. and Ruth L. Kilton Fund, an endowment Ruth Kilton set up in 1997 to benefit children, the elderly, and animals. Her bequest includes 175 shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock, which sold in 2004 for as high as $94,000 each. Kilton met her husband while working at the U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co., in Providence, where his father was one of the company's officers.

Valeria Harris Symington$17 million to five organizations. Valeria (A.V.) Harris Symington, a farmer in Leesburg, Va., who died in August 2003 at 87, left a total of $17 million to: the Loudoun County Public Library system, to benefit the Rust Library, in Leesburg; the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, in Fairfax Station, for the upkeep of Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, in Leesburg; the Town of Leesburg, to benefit the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center; the Loudoun Country Day School, in Leesburg; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in Washington, to benefit the Oatlands Plantation, in Leesburg. Symington moved from Baltimore to Loudoun County in 1940 with her husband, James. The couple purchased Temple Hall Farm, and Valeria Symington took over the farm's operations after her husband lost his sight.

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