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.

John W. Jordan II—$40 million to the University of Notre Dame.Jordan, 58, founder of the Jordan Company, an investment firm in Chicago, and chairman and chief executive officer of Jordan Industries, a holding company, pledged $40 million to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and said the university could use the money for any purpose. Jordan graduated from Notre Dame in 1969 with a degree in finance and currently is a member of the university's board of trustees.

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Harold C. and Annette Simmons—$50 million to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, plus gifts totaling $11.5 million to the Harold Simmons Foundation, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Parkland Health and Hospital System, and Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas. Harold Simmons, 74, chairman of Titanium Metals Corporation in Denver and founder of the Contran Corporation, a holding company in Dallas, and his wife, Annette, 70, pledged $50 million—$10 million of which has been paid—to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The money will be used to recruit 30 cancer specialists and to support other programs at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, which the couple helped create with a $24 million donation in 1988. Simmons was 29 when he started a drugstore chain that included stores in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. He earned about $50 million when he sold the chain to the Eckerd Corporation in 1973 and used the money to buy and sell other companies. He currently controls five corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

George Soros

George Soros—$34.2 million to Central European University and the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. Soros, 75, chairman of Soros Fund Management, a hedge-fund management firm in New York, pledged $24.2 million to Central European University's business school on top of a $205.9 million gift to the school in Budapest for its endowment. Soros, who is Hungarian-American, helped found the university, which opened in 1991. He also pledged $10 million to the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, an offshoot of his New York organization. To receive the money, the Baltimore group, which seeks ways to fight urban problems, must raise $10 million from other sources.

William H. Jr. and Alice T. Goodwin—$32.5 million to Virginia Commonwealth University. William Goodwin Jr., 65, president and chairman of CCA Industries, a holding company in Richmond, Va., that has interests in hotels, manufacturing, and real estate, and his wife, Alice, 61, pledged $32.5 million to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, for its School of Engineering. The Goodwins say they will match any donations to the engineering school up to the amount of their pledge. Alice Goodwin graduated from the university with a medical-technology degree.

Robert M. and Anne T. Bass—$30 million to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Robert Bass, president of Keystone, an investment, acquisition, and merger-management company in Fort Worth, Texas, and his wife, Anne, pledged $30 million to Stanford University's Graduate School of Business in California. Half of the pledge will go toward an endowment to support faculty members of the business school, and $10 million will pay for new seminar classes. The remaining $5 million will be used to match donations from alumni who increase their annual gifts to the business school by 50 percent. Bass is a member of Stanford's board of trustees, and Anne is a member of the board of directors of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, and serves on the board of directors of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health in Palo Alto, Calif.

A. James Clark—$30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Clark, 78, chairman and chief executive officer of Clark Enterprises, a holding company in Bethesda, Md., pledged $30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation to pay for engineering scholarships at the University of Maryland at College Park. Clark graduated from the university in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering.

Robert E. Fischell—$30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Fischell, 77, an inventor of medical devices and a retired professor who served as chief engineer of the space department at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, pledged $30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation to establish a bioengineering department and an institute for biomedical devices in the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park. Fischell is a member of the foundation's board of trustees and earned a master's degree in physics in 1953 from the university. In addition to that pledge, Fischell donated more than $1.1 million to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, for leukemia research.

Paul Merage—$30 million to the University of California at Irvine. Merage, 62, the inventor of Hot Pockets sandwiches and founder of Chef America, which he sold to Nestlé in 2002, pledged $30 million to the University of California at Irvine for its Graduate School of Management. Slightly more than half of the pledge—$17.5 million—will be paid over 10 years or less. Merage earmarked $8.5 million for five endowed professorships, $4.5 million to endow fellowships and scholarships, $3 million for new programs at the school, and $1.5 million for research. The remaining $12.5 million is in an irrevocable trust that will go to the institution upon Merage's death. The university plans to name the management school for Merage. On top of his pledge to the management school, Merage gave the university $63,500 in 2005 for other programs.

James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin—$30 million to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. James McGlothlin, chairman and chief executive officer of the United Company, an investment firm with interests in oil and gas, in Bristol, Va., and his wife, Frances, pledged $30 million to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, where Frances McGlothlin is a trustee. The largest portion of the pledge—$20 million—will establish an endowment to support research, conservation, and the exhibition of a collection of artworks the McGlothlins have promised to bequeath to the museum. The remaining $10 million of the pledge will finance construction of a new wing of the museum that is scheduled to open in 2008.

Robert H. Smith—$30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Smith, 77, chairman of Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty and chairman of Charles E. Smith Residential, both in Arlington, Va., pledged $30 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, stipulating that $12.5 million be used to support academic programs, faculty members, and students in the university's business school, while another $12.5 million will support a performing arts center, along with academic programs and a library at the center. He asked that the remaining $5 million be spent at other parts of the university; $500,000 of the gift will go to a program that studies Israel. A 1950 graduate of the university, Smith gave an additional $172,000 to the institution in 2005 for landscaping projects on the campus.

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Bill and Louise Meiklejohn$50 million to the Saddleback Memorial Foundation, plus a gift of $10 million to the University of Pennsylvania. Bill Meiklejohn, 86, a retired manufacturing-controls coordinator at defense contractor Northrop Aircraft, now Northrop Grumman, and his wife, Louise, 86, pledged $50 million to the Saddleback Memorial Foundation in Laguna Hills, Calif., to expand and upgrade medical laboratories, computer systems, operating rooms, and other facilities at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. The foundation has received $25 million of the pledged amount, and the rest will come from a charitable remainder trust. The Meiklejohns also gave $10 million to the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, for upkeep of Penn Baseball Stadium at Murphy Field. Meiklejohn, who made most of his wealth from UPS stock he inherited from his father, one of the company's original employees, graduated from the university's Wharton School in 1942.

William S. Boyd—$25 million to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, plus gifts to UNLV, the Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center. Boyd, 74, chairman and chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming Corporation in Las Vegas, pledged $25 million to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for its law school; $2.9 million of the pledge was paid in 2005; and the rest will be paid out in annual $1 million payments. Neither the law school nor the university existed when Boyd was a student so he earned his law degree at the University of Utah. But his concern that the Las Vegas metropolitan area had no law school was one of the reasons he helped establish the law school with a $5 million gift in 1997. A lawyer in Las Vegas for 15 years before joining his father in the hotel and casino business, Boyd made several additional gifts to groups in and around the city in 2005. He pledged $1 million, of which $400,000 has been paid, to help build the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center, and he gave $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and $1 million to the Henderson Boys & Girls Club in Nevada. Boyd said the clubs can use the money for any purpose.

Bradford Freeman—$26 million to the Stanford Institute for International Studies. Freeman, 63, co-founder of Freeman Spogli & Company, an investment firm in Los Angeles and New York, pledged $25 million to the Stanford Institute for International Studies, in California. The commitment is one-half of a joint $50 million pledge Freeman made with his business partner, Ronald Spogli. The money, $12 million of which Freeman paid in 2005, will endow the directorship of the institute and establish up to 10 interdisciplinary professorships in international studies throughout Stanford University, where the institute is located. He also pledged $500,000 to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, in Simi Valley, Calif., and $400,000—$100,000 of which was paid in 2005—to Saint Johns Health Center, in Santa Monica, Calif. Freeman made gifts of $50,000 each to the Center for the Study of the Presidency, in Washington, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, in Stanford, Calif. He also gave $10,000 to the Mayo Foundation, in Rochester, Minn.

Andrew S. Grove—$26 million to City College of New York. Grove, 69, founder and former chairman of the Intel Corporation, pledged $26 million to the City College of New York to establish an endowment that will support faculty members and students in the engineering program. The money will also pay for laboratory equipment and renovations, new programs, and research at the engineering school. City College received $5 million of the gift in 2005, and the remaining $21 million will be paid in $1 million annual installments over the next 21 years. Born in Hungary, Grove came to the United States in 1956 and graduated from the college in 1960.

Edward M. Warner—$26 million to the Colorado State University. Warner, 60, founder of Expedition Oil Company in Denver, pledged $26 million to Colorado State University in Fort Collins for its College of Natural Resources. He paid $1.9 million of the pledge in 2005. A geologist by training, Warner graduated from the university in 1968. He said $10 million of the $26 million pledge must be used to establish a natural-resources conservation center and support the center's endowment, professorships, programs, and student internships. Warner also designated $4 million of the pledge for the geosciences department and asked that $1.5 million support faculty research. Some of the pledge will be paid by 2010, but $10.5 million will go to the university upon Warner's death. The donor and university officials have not yet decided how the bequest amount will be used.

William J. Godfrey—$25 million to Indiana University.Godfrey, 63, president of Trinity Associates Real Estate in Hilton Head, S.C., has pledged land valued at $25 million to Indiana University in Bloomington for its Kelley School of Business. Some of the land—$2 million worth—was sold in 2005 and the money was given to the university. The university will receive the rest of the pledged land upon Godfrey's death. The money will be used for scholarships and for upkeep of the business school's building. Godfrey received his bachelor's degree from the university in 1964 and earned a master's degree there in 1968.

Bruce Kovner$25 million to the Juilliard School. Kovner, 61, chairman of Caxton Associates, a hedge fund in New York, pledged $25 million to the Juilliard School in New York and placed no restrictions on how the money, to be paid over five years, will be used. Juilliard has chosen to use the money to finance faculty salaries, scholarships, and facilities improvements. Kovner, chairman of the school's board of trustees, took harmony, piano, and other courses at Juilliard in the 1970s.

Marlin Jr. and Regina Miller—$25 million to Alfred University. Marlin Miller Jr., the retired president of Arrow International, a medical-devices manufacturer in Reading, Pa., and his wife, Regina, pledged $25 million to Alfred University in New York to establish an endowment in the School of Art and Design. In addition, the money will endow six professorships and provide scholarships. Marlin Miller Jr. sits on the university's board of trustees and graduated from Alfred in 1954. 

Ronald Spogli—$25 million to the Stanford Institute for International Studies. Spogli, 59, co-founder of Freeman Spogli & Co., an investment firm in Los Angeles and New York, pledged $25 million—$12 million of which was paid in 2005—to the Stanford Institute for International Studies, in California. The commitment is one-half of a joint $50 million pledge Spogli made with his business partner, Bradford Freeman. The money will endow the directorship of the institute and establish up to 10 interdisciplinary professorships in international studies throughout Stanford University, where the institute is located. Spogli, who graduated from Stanford in 1970 with a degree in history, currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to Italy.

Larry H. and Gail Miller—$22.6 million to Salt Lake Community College. The Millers, who own Larry H. Miller auto dealerships in Salt Lake City and the Utah Jazz, pledged a combination of cash and land worth $22.6 million to Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City. Most of the money will go toward the university's new police safety training center and will pay for housing and training for police officers, firefighters, sheriffs, and prison guards. A portion of the pledge will also be used to build a culinary-arts school. The Millers, who also own a local sports arena, a television station, and commercial real estate in and around Salt Lake City, plan to build the police training and culinary centers on land they own, then donate the new buildings to the college once construction is complete.  

Sidney Kimmel—$22 million to the Sidney Kimmel Foundation. Kimmel, 77, chairman of Jones Apparel Group in Bristol, Pa., and co-owner of the Miami Heat basketball team, pledged $22 million to the Sidney Kimmel Foundation in Philadelphia. The foundation, which he started in 1993, supports the arts, cancer research, and Jewish causes. Kimmel serves as president and treasurer of the foundation.

Frank E. Eck—$21 million to the University of Notre Dame. Eck, 82, chairman of Advanced Drainage Systems, a drainage-pipe manufacturer in Hilliard, Ohio, pledged $21 million to the University of Notre Dame for its law school. He made the pledge, which will be paid over the next five years, specifically to help pay the construction costs of a new building. Eck graduated from the university in 1944 with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. 

John M. and Mary Jo Boler—$20 million to the Rush University Medical Center. John Boler, chairman of the Boler Company, an Itasca, Ill., company that manufactures truck-suspension systems, and his wife, Mary Jo, pledged $20 million to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago for a new advanced-imaging center to diagnose and help treat patients with heart attacks, cancer, and other illnesses and for an endowment. The couple paid $3.5 million of the pledge in 2005, and the rest will be paid over the next five years. John Boler is a trustee of the medical center, and both he and his wife have been patients at Rush University Medical Center. The new center will be named after them.

J. William and Mary Diederich—$20 million to Marquette University. Diederich, 76, a retired executive vice president of Landmark Communications in Norfolk, Va., and his wife, Mary, 76, pledged $20 million to Marquette University in Milwaukee, for its College of Communications. The Diederichs transferred stock worth $20 million to an irrevocable charitable lead trust and structured the gift so that the college will receive earnings of $1.4 million a year for the next 20 years. Marquette received $583,333—part of the first annual $1.4 million—in 2005. The money will endow building renovations, professorships, scholarships, and research, and it will pay for guest speakers. The gift will also help update the college's audio and visual broadcasting studios. J. William Diederich, who graduated from Marquette's journalism program in 1951, helped start the Weather Channel and retired from Landmark Communications in 1990. Mary Diederich, a retired musician, graduated from the university in 1952.

Lacy and Dorothy Harber—$20 million to Abilene Christian University, Texoma Medical Center Foundation, and the Wilson N. Jones Medical Center Foundation. Lacy Harber, 70, and his wife, Dorothy, 65, who own G&L Tools, an oil-field service company in Abilene, Texas, pledged $10 million to Abilene Christian University to endow 50 full-tuition ministry scholarships in its graduate school of theology. The money, which the university will receive upon the Harbers' death, will also pay stipends to international students and graduate teaching assistants so that they can cover living expenses. The couple pledged additional estate gifts of $5 million each to the Texoma Medical Center Foundation in Denison, Texas, for a new building, and to the Wilson N. Jones Medical Center Foundation in Sherman, Texas, to expand the center's campus.

Roger and Victoria Sant—$20 million to the National Symphony Orchestra and the Smithsonian Institution. Roger Sant, chairman emeritus and co-founder of the AES Corporation, an international electric-power company in Arlington, Va., and Victoria Sant, president of the National Gallery of Art, pledged $10 million to the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. The money will endow the music director's post. Roger Sant serves on the National Symphony Orchestra's board of trustees. The couple also pledged $10 million to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to establish the first endowed position in ocean research at the National Museum of Natural History. A portion of the money will also help establish the Center for Marine Science at the museum. Roger Sant serves on the Smithsonian's board of regents and is chairman of its executive committee. 

Robert and Jan Weissman—$20 million to Babson College. Robert Weissman, chairman of Shelburne Investments, a private investment firm in western Massachusetts, and his wife, Jan, pledged $20 million to Babson College in Babson Park, Mass. The gift is unrestricted, but the college plans to use a portion of it for financial aid. Half the pledge was paid in 2005, and the college will receive the remaining $10 million upon the Weissmans' death. Weissman graduated from the college in 1964 and serves on its board of trustees.

Albert Willner—$20 million to the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. Willner, 87, a retired orthopedic surgeon, pledged $20 million to the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, in New York. The money, which will be paid over 10 years, will be used to create and endow a leadership center at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and will support science and technology research, science education, and a program to develop leaders and donors who can help raise the institute's profile. The new center will be named after Willner and his family.

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