The 2005 Slate 60: Donations

Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Feb. 20 2006 8:19 AM

The 2005 Slate 60: Donations

The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.

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Barbara Barrow Jacobs—$40.6 million to Indiana University. Jacobs, widow of David H. Jacobs, an owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team and developer of shopping centers, died Nov. 29, 2005, at 79. She left $40.6 million to Indiana University, in Bloomington, for its school of music, which will be named for Jacobs' late husband. Nearly half the gift—$20 million—will endow fellowships for graduate students, $10 million will endow undergraduate scholarships, and the rest will endow faculty positions and pay for programs at the institution. The couple both graduated from the university in 1948, but that's not what prompted Jacobs to include the gift in her will. She was inspired by a request from her son, David Jacobs Jr., who attended the music school in the 1970s.

Eli and Edythe L. Broad—$40 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Broad Medical Research Program, and the University of California at Los Angeles. In addition to pledges totaling $260 million, the couple gave $20 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and made a $10 million payment on the 2003 pledge to MIT for the Broad Institute. They made additional cash gifts of $5 million to the Broad Medical Research Program, in Los Angeles, which will be used for research into inflammatory bowel disease, and $5 million to the University of California at Los Angeles for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center.

Donald and Barbara Jonas—$39.4 million to the Jewish Communal Fund. Donald Jonas, who helped found now-defunct housewares chain Lechter's and Barbara Jonas, a retired social worker who helped found the Centers for the Study of Children at Risk at New York University and at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, gave 14 works of postwar and contemporary art to the Jewish Communal Fund, in New York, and told the fund to sell the works so the proceeds could be channeled to charities. The sale netted $39.4 million, and the proceeds were put into the couple's donor-advised fund at the Jewish Communal Fund. Donald Jonas, 76, started planning the donation, which represented half the couple's art collection and included works by Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, last year, when he and his wife decided it was time to concentrate their energy on philanthropy. While the Jonases have not yet decided which charities will receive money, Barbara Jonas says they are involving their children in their decisions, and working with professional philanthropy advisers to help the family decide where to focus its giving. According to Ms. Jonas, the couple is currently conducting research on nursing programs, mental-health charities, and nonprofit organizations that help disadvantaged youth as possible grantees.

Bill Greehey—$36 million to St. Mary's University and the Greehey Family Foundation. Greehey, 69, chairman of Valero Energy Corporation, an oil-refining company in San Antonio, Texas, donated $25 million to St. Mary's University in San Antonio to endow the School of Business and Administration. Earnings from the money will be used for student scholarships, technology improvements, and the expansion of the university's business school faculty. Greehey graduated from the university in 1960 and serves on its board of trustees. He also gave $9 million to the Greehey Family Foundation in San Antonio, which he started in 2003. With assets of about $29 million, the foundation supports cancer, education, and religious charities. Mr. Greehey also donated a total of $2 million to several nonprofit organizations focused on children's health care, shelters, and after-school programs.

Madeleine T. Schneider—$32.5 million to the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, Culver Academies, Blanchard Valley Health Foundation. Schneider, who died on Jan. 18, 2005, at 90, left $25 million to the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation in Ohio, near where she grew up. The money, which she had inherited, will be used for several human-services and education grants, in addition to supporting other causes. A physicist who worked as a technical aide to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during World War II and as a courier for the Manhattan Project, Schneider bequeathed an additional $5 million to the Culver Academies, the Indiana high school her husband attended, and $2.5 million to the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, in Findlay, Ohio.

Leonie Faroll—$31.1 million to Wellesley College. Faroll, a former marketing analyst at the investment firm Scudder, Stevens & Clark, in New York who died Sept. 18, 2003, at 75, bequeathed the bulk of her estate—nearly $29 million—to Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Faroll stipulated in her will that 60 percent of the bequest should pay for renovations to a science center and 30 percent should go toward renovating the college's power plant. At least half of the remaining 10 percent is to be used in part to build a facility to house the college's skilled-trades staff members; the rest can be used as the college wishes. The remainder of Faroll's estate, more than $2.1 million, went to human-services, education, medical, and religious charities.

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Richard T. and Joyce Farmer—$30 million to the Farmer Family Foundation. Richard Farmer, 71, chairman of the Cintas Corporation, a uniform-supply company in Cincinnati, and his wife, Joyce, 70, put $30 million into the Farmer Family Foundation in Cincinnati in 2005. All the money will be given to the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with $25 million to pay for a new building for the school. The remaining $5 million is earmarked for the school's endowment; the Farmers asked that some of the interest earnings be used to pay to expand the number of faculty members at the school. The business school received $2 million from the foundation in 2005, and will continue to receive $2 million a year from the foundation for the next 14 years. The Farmers, who both graduated from the university in the 1950s, helped to establish the business school with a $10 million gift in 1991. 

K. Raymond Clark—$29.3 million to Coe College. Clark, a Chicago estate lawyer who invested in real estate, died at age 96 on July 20, 2005. He left his entire estate of $29.3 million to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He earmarked $10 million to support a racquetball center, an outdoor athletic field, and an alumni house, all three of which Mr. Clark had financed with previous gifts in the 1980s and 1990s. The remaining $19.3 million is an unrestricted gift, which college officials have decided to put into Coe's endowment. A 1930 graduate and a trustee of the college, Mr. Clark created a scholarship program in 1996 that annually gives 10 Coe students one tuition-free year.

Oscar Boonshoft and family—$28.5 million to the Wright State University School of Medicine. Mr. Boonshoft, 88, a retired engineer who worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and who accumulated his wealth through investments, and his family donated $28.5 million to Wright State University's School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. The gift was unrestricted. Officials at the medical school plan to use a large portion of the money—$12.5-million—to pay for new research programs, while $5 million will endow student scholarships, another $5 million will support geriatric medicine and global health programs, and $2.5 million will pay for building renovations. University officials are still deciding where to direct the remaining $3.5 million.  

Charles Simonyi—$28 million to the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences. Simonyi, 57, a former executive at Microsoft and founder and CEO of Intentional Software Corporation in Bellevue, Wash., gave his foundation $25 million in cash as well as stock worth $3 million in 2005. The foundation supports the arts, education, and the sciences. In July 2005, the foundation turned Mr. Simonyi's cash gift into a $25 million grant to the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, N.J., for its endowment. Simonyi is a trustee and president of the institute's corporation. The endowment will be named for Simonyi's father, Karoly, a professor of electrical engineering in Budapest, Hungary, where the younger Mr. Simonyi lived until he came to the United States at age 16.

Dorrance H. Hamilton—$25 million to Thomas Jefferson University. Hamilton, 76, an heir to the Campbell Soup Co. fortune, pledged $25 million to Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, for a new building to house academic programs in medicine, nursing, and physical and occupational therapy. Part of the pledge, $5 million, was paid in 2005, and the rest will be paid at $5 million a year for the next four years. A trustee of the university, Ms. Hamilton is the granddaughter of John T. Dorrance, a chemist who in 1897 invented condensed soup for the Campbell Soup Company.

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