The 2005 Slate 60: Pledges

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

The 2005 Slate 60: Pledges

The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.

Eli and Edythe L. Broad—$300 million to the Broad Foundation, the Broad Medical Research Program, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the University of California at Los Angeles. Eli Broad, 72, the founding chairman of KB Home Corp. and SunAmerica, and his wife, Edythe, 69, pledged $150 million to the Broad Foundations in Los Angeles, which support local civic programs, efforts to improve elementary and secondary public education, medical and scientific research, and contemporary art museums. The couple also pledged $100 million, to be paid over 10 years, to Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., for the Broad Institute, a biomedical-research center run by Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. The money will be used to support research on cancer, chemical biology, genome sequencing and analysis, infectious diseases, and medical and population genetics. The Broads started the institute in 2003 by pledging $100 million to MIT. They also pledged $10 million to the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, Calif., to benefit the Broad Fellows Program for Brain Circuitry.

David Rockefeller—$225 million to the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Rockefeller, 90, the retired chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank and heir to the Standard Oil fortune, pledged $100 million to the New York museum—of which he is chairman emeritus—under the condition that the museum will receive the gift upon Rockefeller's death, plus an additional $5 million pledge, of which $2.5 million has been paid. Rockefeller's mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, helped create the museum in 1929. Most of the money will be used for endowment, but Rockefeller said the museum can use the additional $5 million in whatever way it wishes. He made an identical pledge of $100 million, plus an additional $5 million pledge, to Rockefeller University in New York. Thus far, $2.5 million has been paid to the university, which was founded by Rockefeller's grandfather, oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, in 1901. Most of the money, $70 million, will be used for campus renovations and for research, while the remaining $30 million will endow a graduate program and will help pay for graduate work on global health problems related to HIV/AIDS, SARS, and other diseases. The additional $5 million may be used as the university wants.

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Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton—$100 million to the Arizona State University Foundation. Ira Fulton, 74, president of Fulton Homes, a real-estate development company in Tempe, Ariz., and his wife, Mary Lou, 72, pledged $100 million to Arizona State University in Tempe. The Fultons asked that the money be divided among the College of Education, the university foundation, and a discretionary fund for the university's president. The Fultons set up the discretionary fund so the president will be able to direct that money toward any university program as needed. Ira Fulton attended Arizona State but did not graduate, and Mary Lou Fulton received her degree in education from the university in 1975.

Sydell L. Miller and family—$70 million to the Cleveland Clinic. Miller, co-founder of Matrix Essentials, a hair- and beauty-products company in Solon, Ohio, that is now part of L'Oreal USA, and her daughters, Lauren Spilman and Stacie Halpern, pledged $70 million to the Cleveland Clinic to build a new cardiac center that isscheduled to open in 2008. Members of the Miller family have been patients at the clinic. Miller said she made the gift to show her gratitude for care that family members had received.

Lawrence J. Ellison—$115 million to Harvard University. Ellison, 62, chief executive officer of the Oracle Corporation, pledged $115 million to Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., to study global health. Ellison is not a Harvard alumnus, though he did attend the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley.

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Jan T. and Marica F. Vilcek—$109 million to the New York University School of Medicine and the Vilcek foundation. Vilcek, 72, a professor at NYU's medical school, and his wife, Marica, 69, an art historian, pledged $105 million to the medical school for education and research in the departments of microbiology and otolaryngology. Vilcek helped invent Remicade, an anti-inflammatory drug. The money the Vilceks pledged to NYU and gave to their foundation came from royalties from the sale of Remicade. The pledge will be made in three parts: an initial cash payment of $6.7 million, which the university has already received; a charitable remainder trust; and quarterly payments that will continue until 2018. The couple, originally from Czechoslovakia, also gave $4 million to the Vilcek Foundation, a New York organization they established to support immigrants to the United States who work in the fields of biomedical research or the arts and culture.