The 2004 Slate 60: Pledges

The 2004 Slate 60: Pledges

The 2004 Slate 60: Pledges

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

The 2004 Slate 60: Pledges

The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.

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David and Marlene Tepper—a $55 million pledge, of which $5 million was paid in 2004 to Carnegie Mellon University, School of Business. David Tepper, 47, founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a hedge-fund investment firm in Chatham, N.J., and his wife, Marlene, pledged $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University's business school, in Pittsburgh, now called the Tepper School of Business. The couple paid $5 million in 2004, and plans to pay $5 million annually for the next five years, with the remaining $25 million to be paid in increments that are not yet determined. Most of the money will augment the school's endowment. David Tepper grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1982 with a master's degree in industrial administration.

Andrew J. and Erna Viterbi—a $52 million pledge to the University of Southern California, School of Engineering. Andrew Viterbi, 69, a co-founder of Qualcomm, in San Diego, and his wife, Erna, pledged $52 million to the University of Southern California's School of Engineering, in Los Angeles, now called the Viterbi School of Engineering. The money will be added to the school's endowment. Andrew Viterbi is the inventor of the Viterbi algorithm, which allows the accurate and rapid decoding of numerous overlapping signals and is embedded in most cell phones. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the university in 1962, and has taught at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of California-San Diego. Last year Andrew Viterbi agreed to become a professor of electrical-engineering systems at USC's engineering school.

Darla Moore—a $45 million pledge to the University of South Carolina at Columbia, Moore School of Business. Moore, 50, executive vice president of Rainwater Inc., a private investment firm, pledged $45 million to the University of South Carolina at Columbia's Moore School of Business. The gift—which was made in the form of a charitable remainder unitrust—will help renovate the school's facilities, endow professorships, and support scholarships. Moore, who graduated from the university in 1975 with a B.A. in political science and earned an M.B.A. from George Washington University, has challenged the university to match her $45 million gift. The university plans to raise $30 million in private support and $15 million in public funds. Moore, who grew up and lives in Lake City, S.C., made a $25 million gift to the school in 1998, and university officials named the school in her honor.

Bill and Sue Gross—a $23.5 million pledge to Duke University and a $20 million pledge, of which $4 million was paid in 2004 to the Hoag Hospital Foundation. Bill Gross, 60, the chief investment officer and a co-founder of Pacific Investments Management Co., in Newport Beach, Calif., and his wife, Sue, pledged $23.5 million to Duke University, in Durham, N.C., and $20 million to the Hoag Hospital Foundation, in Newport Beach. The couple designated the gift to Duke, Bill Gross' alma mater, to endow scholarships for undergraduate and medical students, and to support faculty members and fill other needs at the business school. The hospital foundation will use half its gift to construct a new women's-health facility at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, while the other half will endow the Women's Wellness Center and buy digital mammography equipment for the hospital. The foundation has received $4 million of the gift, and the remainder is scheduled to be paid over four years.

Sidney E. Frank—a $42 million pledge to Brown University, Norwich Free Academy Foundation, and White Plains Hospital Center. 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, pledged $20 million to Brown University, in Providence, R.I., for an academic building. Frank attended Brown for one year in the late 1930s, but left because he could not afford the tuition. Frank, who graduated from the Norwich Free Academy in 1938, also pledged $12 million to the Norwich Free Academy Foundation, in Connecticut, for the school's endowment. He also pledged $10 million to White Plains Hospital Center, in White Plains, N.Y., for its capital campaign.


Curtis Priem—a $40 million pledge to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Priem, 45, co-founder of the Nvidia Corp., a computer-graphics company in Santa Clara, Calif., pledged $40 million to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y. The unrestricted gift, scheduled to be paid over several years, was made to the institute's capital campaign, which is seeking to raise $1 billion by the end of 2008. The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, now under construction, will be named in Priem's honor. Priem graduated from the institute in 1982 with a degree in electrical, computer, and systems engineering, and serves on its board of trustees.

Robert W. Wilson—a $36.9 million pledge to the New York Public Library and the World Monuments Fund. Wilson, 78, a financier who lives in New York City, pledged $25 million to the New York Public Library. The library will use a large portion of the funds to acquire new materials, catalog archival collections at its Library for the Performing Arts, preserve books and other materials, and develop technology to improve its online catalog and other resources. Wilson also pledged $11.9 million to the World Monuments Fund, in New York City, where he serves as vice chairman and treasurer.

Dan L. Duncan—a $35 million pledge to Baylor College of Medicine. Duncan, 72, founder and chairman of Enterprise Products Partners, an energy company in Houston, pledged $35 million to the Baylor College of Medicine's capital campaign. The gift will be used to construct the Baylor Clinic, an ambulatory-care center. The Duncan family is scheduled to fulfill the pledge over 10 years. Duncan is a member of the college's board of trustees.

Mignon C. Smith—a $35 million pledge to J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship Foundation and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Smith, 74, a textile heiress who lives in Washington, D.C., pledged $30 million in stock to the J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship Foundation, in Birmingham, Ala., to be received upon her death. She also made a separate gift of $10 million in stock to establish the foundation, which is named after her parents, and which will provide college scholarships to Alabama students with a record of community service. Smith also made a second pledge of $5 million to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to establish a professorship focusing on integrity in business. Her father was president of Avondale Mills, a textile company that has operations in several Southern states.

John P. and Tashia F. Morgridge—a $31 million pledge to the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Morgridge, 71, chairman of Cisco Systems, a telecommunications-equipment company in San Jose, Calif., and his wife, Tashia, 72, pledged $31 million to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to renovate the 104-year-old building that houses the School of Education, including the restoration of its Beaux Arts architectural features. John Morgridge is a 1955 graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison's School of Business, and Tashia Morgridge is a 1955 graduate of the School of Education.

Jim Clark—a $30 million pledge, of which $5 million was paid in 2004, to Tulane University. Clark, 60, a co-founder of Netscape, in Mountain View, Calif., pledged $30 million to Tulane University, in New Orleans, to endow scholarships for undergraduate students. Clark, a member of Tulane's board, plans to pay the money over five years, and $5 million has been received to date. Clark attended Tulane before receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of New Orleans and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Utah.