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.

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

William H. (Bill) III and Melinda F. Gates—a $3.35 billion pledge, of which $627 million was paid in 2004: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates, 49, chairman and chief software architect of the Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash., and his wife, Melinda, 39, pledged approximately $3.35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in Seattle. The foundation, which the couple created in 2000, supports education, global health, libraries, and charities in the Pacific Northwest. This most recent infusion of cash came from a Microsoft stock dividend that Bill Gates received in late 2004. The foundation expects to receive the funds in installments over several years, and the exact amount of the gift will depend on fluctuations in the value of Microsoft stock. The foundation had received $627 million by Dec. 28, 2004. (A profile of the Gates Foundation appeared in the Nov. 11, 2004, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

Eli and Edythe L. Broad—a $100 million pledge to the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the Broad Art Foundation. Eli Broad, 71, founding chairman of KB Home Corp. and of SunAmerica, and his wife, Edythe, 68, pledged $100 million to be distributed among the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation and the Broad Foundation, both in Los Angeles, and the Broad Art Foundation, in Santa Monica, Calif. The funds, which will be paid in 2005, are earmarked for scientific and medical research, education-improvement efforts, and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Alfred E. Mann—a $100 million pledge to the American Technion Society. Mann, 79, co-chief executive officer of the Advanced Bionics Corp., in Sylmar, Calif., and chairman and chief executive officer of the MannKind Corp., a biomedical-research company in Valencia, Calif., pledged $100 million to the American Technion Society, in New York City, for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The money will be used to create and endow the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the university, which is located in Haifa, Israel. Mann says that he intends to endow a dozen such institutes at universities identified by a committee. Each institute, says Mann, will use the expertise at that particular university to develop medical devices that he hopes can contribute to the treatment and eventual cure of medical problems.

Family of Leonard M. Miller—a $100 million pledge to the University of Miami, School of Medicine. The family of Leonard Miller, who died in 2002 at 69 and was the founder and chairman of the Lennar Corp., a home-construction company, pledged $100 million in his memory to the University of Miami's School of Medicine. The university has since named the school after him. The Miller family is scheduled to pay $12 million this year, and the remainder of the pledge over the next 16 years. The funds will be used to establish four professorships, to recruit students, and to support the school's academic mission. Although Miller did not attend the university, he served on its board of trustees for 20 years, including four years as chairman.

Stephen M. Ross—a $100 million pledge to the University of Michigan, School of Business. Ross, 64, a real-estate developer and chairman and chief executive officer of the Related Companies, in New York City, pledged $100 million to the University of Michigan's School of Business, in Ann Arbor. Of that total, $75 million is designated for facilities, and $25 million will augment the school's endowment. A university spokesman declined to give an amount, but said the school—which is now called the Stephen M. Ross School of Business—received a portion of the pledge in 2004. The pledge will count toward the school's $350 million capital campaign. Ross, whose company developed the Time Warner Center, in New York City, graduated from the University of Michigan's business school in 1962 with a degree in accounting.

Samuel and Rita Garvin—a $60 million pledge, of which $10 million was paid in 2004 to Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. Samuel Garvin, 40, founder and chief executive officer of the Continental Promotion Group, and his wife, Rita, 36, of Scottsdale, Ariz., pledged $60 million to Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, in Glendale, Ariz. The university has since been renamed Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management. The university will allot two-thirds, or $40 million, of the pledge to its endowment to support academic programs, faculty members, and scholarships. The remaining $20 million is unrestricted. The couple paid $10 million of the pledge in 2004, and the remainder is scheduled to be paid by 2007. Samuel Garvin graduated from Thunderbird with an M.B.A. in 1988. The Continental Promotion Group is a commercial-fulfillment business.

Bill and Dee Brehm—a $59.5 million pledge, of which $885,000 was paid in 2004 to the University of Michigan Health System, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Eastern Michigan University. Bill Brehm, 75, chairman emeritus of SRA International, in Fairfax, Va., and assistant secretary of defense under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and his wife, Dee, 74, pledged $44 million to the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor, to create a research center devoted to finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Mrs. Brehm was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which usually occurs in children and young adults, 55 years ago. The couple, who live in McLean, Va., designated $30 million to construct the facility, $9.8 million to support faculty positions, $2 million to support a comprehensive diabetes center at the university's medical school, and $1.5 million to endow the new diabetes-research center. The remaining $700,000 will go toward scholarships for graduates of Fordson High School, in Dearborn, Mich., which Bill Brehm attended. The Brehms also pledged $15 million, of which $885,000 was paid in 2004, to Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, Calif. The money will be used to construct a new worship center. The Brehms also pledged $500,000 to Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, Mrs. Brehm's alma mater, for an endowed scholarship for students who want to become special-education teachers.

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