The 2007 Slate 60: Donations

Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Feb. 11 2008 7:35 AM

The 2007 Slate 60: Donations

The largest American charitable contributions of the year.

Barron Hilton—$1.2 billion to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Hilton, the co-chairman of Hilton Hotels Corp. until the sale of the company in 2007, is also chairman of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation that was started by his father. The foundation focuses its giving on long-term projects in developing countries and on poverty-related issues in the United States.

Jon and Karen Huntsman—$627 million to medical and higher education organizations. This year, the Huntsmans gave $600 million to the family's Salt Lake City-based Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Huntsman, who made his fortune in the chemicals industry, says he plans to double his contribution to the foundation in the next five to 10 years. The Huntsmans also gave $1 million to the Utah Department of Health for an HPV campaign, $25 million to the Utah State University's business school, and $1 million for a scholarship fund for USU students from Armenia. This is the Huntsmans' fourth appearance on the Slate 60.

George Soros—$474.6 million to the Open Society Institute and the Soros Humanitarian Foundation. $238.6 million was given to the Open Society Institute, which aims to promote democratic governments through projects ranging from support for independent media to education reform. He also gave $230 million to the Soros Humanitarian Foundation and $6 million to the Iris Foundation, which recognizes excellence in the decorative arts. This marks the seventh time Soros has appeared in the Slate 60.

T. Denny Sanford—$431 million to medical causes, primarily in the field of pediatrics, as well as cultural and academic organizations. $400 million will go to the Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, the largest gift ever to a health organization. Sanford, the CEO of United National Corporation, First Premier Bank, and Premier Bankcard Inc., is making his third appearance on the Slate 60.

John Kluge—$400 million to Columbia University to support financial-aid programs from undergraduate and graduate students. John Kluge's Metromedia owned a variety of television and radio station before being acquired by 20th Century Fox and News Corp.

Sandy Weill
Sandy Weill

Sanford I. (Sandy) Jr. and Joan H. Weill—$328.5 million to various medical, scientific, artistic, and educational organizations. Weill, the former chairman of Citigroup, and his wife, Joan, made major contributions to the capital campaign of Weill Cornell Medical College (which was renamed in the Weills' honor following their 1998 endowment) as well as Cornell University's New Life Sciences Initiative. The Weills also made donations to Carnegie Hall, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and the National Academy Foundation, which Weill founded in 1982.

Michael Bloomberg—$205 million to 1,100 different organizations. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City and the founder of Bloomberg LP, a financial-data and news-service business, makes his fifth appearance on the Slate 60 with his largest sum yet. The total represents Bloomberg's personal giving, his shares of his company's donations, and his foundation giving.

Boone Pickens—$200 million to a variety of philanthropies. Pickens, the founder of Mesa Petroleum and BP Capital, gave $156 million contribution the T. Boone Pickens Foundation. Other recipients include Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Oklahoma State University. Pickens is most famous for navigating his oil company, Mesa Petroleum, through a series of acquisitions and hostile takeovers during the '80s. The $200 million represents Pickens' largest total of his four Slate 60 appearances.

Robert A. Day—$200 million to Claremont McKenna College to establish the Robert Day Scholars program, which will create an enhanced curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities, all focused on finance and accounting. Day is the founder of Trust Company of the West, an investment management firm.

John and Tashia Morgridge—$179 million, primarily to educational causes. Cisco Chairman John Morgridg met his wife, Tashia, while in high school in Wisconsin, and both attended the University of Wisconsin. They have long supported educational programs in their home state. This year, they made a founding gift of $175 million to establish the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, which will provide grants for low-income graduates of Wisconsin public schools attending Wisconsin public post-secondary schools. The Morgridges also gave $4 million toward the building of a public pool facility in Milwaukee County.

Eli and Edythe Broad—$176 million to the Broad Foundations, which support public education programs, contemporary art museums, and scientific and medical research. This year, the Broads made major gifts to Michigan State University, for the building of a new art museum, and to UCLA, to fund adult and embryonic stem cell research. Los Angeles-based billionaire Eli Broad, who founded KB Home and SunAmerica Inc., a financial-services company, and his wife, Edythe, are appearing on the Slate 60 for the ninth time.

Barbara Dodd Anderson—$128.5 million to her alma mater, the George School, a co-ed Quaker prep school in Bucks County, Pa. Anderson's gift is one of the largest single donations ever made to a secondary school in the United States. The money will go toward student financial aid, faculty and staff compensation, and advances in environmental sustainability. Anderson's father was an early investor in Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway. (He was one of Buffet's business school professors at Columbia.) This is her first time on the Slate 60.

David H. Koch$123 million, including a $100 million gift to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be used for cancer research. Koch is a board member of Koch Industries, which includes organizations ranging from chemical research and refinement firms to financial services companies.

Lorry Lokey—$112.5 million to various universities. Lokey, the founder and chairman of the media relations company Business Wire, has made five previous appearances on the Slate 60. This year, he gave $74.5 million to the University of Oregon; the bulk of the gift will go toward the Lorry I. Lokey Science Advancement and Graduate Education Initiative. $33 million went toward building a home for Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Lokey also gave $5 million to Santa Clara University, for a new library complex, and $1.5 million Portland State University, to endow a chair in Judaic studies.

Thomas M. Siebel—$100 million to the University of Illinois that will be used to expand science and engineering programs at the school. Thomas Siebel was the founder of Siebel Systems, a technology company that developed consumer management software. The company was purchased by Oracle in 2005.

Ann Lurie—$100 million to the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The gift will be used to establish a new campus in the Streeterville community of Chicago. Lurie is the president of Lurie Investments, a venture capital firm that focuses its investments in the biomedical community.

Warren Alpert—a $100 millionbequest to Brown University Medical School, which was subsequently renamed the Warren Alpert Medical School. The gift—the largest in the medical school's history—will go toward a new building, support for biomedical research, endowed professors and scholarships, and faculty recruitment. Alpet's bequest will be administered via his namesake charitable foundation, founded in 1986 to support scientific and medical breakthroughs.

Frank Batten Sr.—$100 million to the University of Virginia, to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Batten was the former chairman and CEO of Landmark Communication Inc., a media company that owns various newspapers and television stations, including the Weather Channel.

Rupert H. Johnson—$100 million to his alma mater, Washington and Lee University. The donation will support student scholarships as well as establish a campus lecture series, a summer leadership program in for seniors at the college, and two professorships. Along with his older brother, Charles, Johnson runs the investment company Franklin Resources.

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Phil Knight

Phil and Penny Knight—$100 million to the University of Oregon. The gift from Phil Knight, the founder and former CEO of Nike, and his wife, Penny, will establish the Oregon Athletics Legacy Fund to support and promote University of Oregon's sports teams.

Henri and Janice Lazarof—$100 million worth of paintings, donated to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Henri Lazarof, a composer, and his wife, Janice, a daughter of the late real estate developer Mark Taper, donated 130 works of art to the museum. The collection includes 20 pieces by Pablo Picasso, 21 watercolors and paintings by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, and seven bronzes and one painting by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.

Peter H. and Paula Crane Lunder—$100 million to Colby College. The gift was in the form of a collection of American art that the Lunders have accumulated over the years, including pieces by Georgia O'Keefe, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper. Peter Lunder is the former president of Dexter Shoe Co.

Robert and Jeannette Powell—$100 million to the University of the Pacific. The estate gift was announced after the death of Robert Powell in November and will be paid after Jeannette Powell's death. It will offset tuition costs for students at the university. Other benefactors include the Sacramento Ballet and Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. Robert Powell served on the university's board of regents from 1989-93 and was awarded a doctorate from Pacific in 1996. Jeanette Powell has served on the board since 1999.

Richard S. Zeisler—a $100 million bequest of art to various U.S. museums. Zeisler, a private investor and collector of 20th-century European art, bequeathed more than 110 works by masters such as Miró, Magritte, Max Beckmann, and Francis Bacon to 16 institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, and three New York City-based institutions: the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Pierre and Pam Omidyar—$97.8 million to Hope Lab, a medical charity that battles chronic illness in youths, and the Omidyar Network, a group that creates community and social change from business solutions. Omidyar, who founded the auction site eBay in 1995, and his wife, Pam, a medical researcher, founded these two charities. Among the youngest and most generous couples in philanthropy, they have pledged to give away all but 1 percent of their billions to charity over the next 20 years. Among other donations, Omidyar also donated $100 million to Tufts University to launch the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund.

Edwin A.G. Manton—a $91million bequest to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. Manton, who passed away in 2005, was a founder and longtime leader of the insurance giant American International Group. His gift includes some $40 million in artwork and $50 million in cash to support research and educational programs. The art collection comprises paintings, watercolors, oil sketches, and other pieces by J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough. Manton was knighted in 1994 in recognition of his philanthropy. 

Dan and Jan Duncan—$75 million to various causes, including $50 million to launch the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. The institute to study and treat pediatric neurological disorders will be completed by 2010. Dan Duncan is chairman and director of Houston-based Enterprise Products, an energy-services company, and wife Jan is a member Texas Children's Board of Trustees. The family has also been extremely active in cancer research and has given millions in support of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Duncan, a cancer survivor, was a patient.

Harvey Najim$75 million to create the Harvey E. Najim Family Foundation and $1.8 million for Haven for Hope, a San Antonio Homeless Shelter. Najim, who is founder, president, and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions Inc., created his family foundation to aid children's medical research in the greater San Antonio area. He has also served on the boards of Junior Achievement, Respite Care of San Antonio, the American Society of Computer Dealers, and the United Way.

William and Karen Davidson—$75 million to Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. Davidson is owner of the Detroit Pistons and president and CEO of Guardian Industries, one of the world's largest manufacturers of architectural and automotive glass. The gift will support the new inpatient tower at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Jerry Yangand Akiko Yamazaki—$75 million to Stanford University. Yang, who in 1994 co-founded Yahoo and now serves as its CEO, and his wife, Akiko,director of the Wildlife Conservation Network in Los Altos, Calif., met as students at Stanford. The bulk of this gift—$50 million—will enhance environmental studies at Stanford by creating an Environment and Energy Building. Other funds will help pay for a 120,000-square-foot Learning and Knowledge Center for their School of Medicine.

R.C. Durr—a $70 million bequest to R.C. Durr Foundation in Kentucky, which creates grants primarily for social services and education. Durr, who passed away last May, was founder of the R.C. Durr Company, Northern Kentucky's leading construction and highway contractor. Durr supported charities big and small but eschewed public attention. He helped many hospitals, churches, schools, and hunger-related programs anonymously, and only one institution—the R.C. Durr YMCA—publicly bears his name. He was also one of the founders of the Northern Kentucky Industrial Foundation at Florence.

Mart Green and Family—$70 million to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. Green's gift came at a crucial moment for the university—its president, Richard L. Robert, was forced to resign in the wake of a financial scandal, and the school recently reported that it was $50 million in debt. The Green family started two retail chains, Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian Educational and Supply. The gift included $8 million up front and the remaining $62 million upon completion of a 90-day financial review process. Green said he had no connection to the university and decided to donate the funds based on news reports about the beleaguered school.

Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler—$60 million to Gordon College, Mass., the largest gift in the school's history. California real-estate developer Dale E. Fowler and his wife, Sarah Ann Fowler, made this gift to the school's unrestricted endowment to be paid upon their deaths. It would triple the school's current endowment. The gift will be spent on increasing scholarship funds for students, among other things. The Fowlers have been longtime devotees of the Christian liberal arts college, donating funds for bleachers and renovations to the administration building.

Lee and Penny Anderson—$60 million to the University of St. Thomas. Lee Anderson is the founder and CEO of APi Group Inc., a family of construction, manufacturing, and fire-protection companies. His $60 million gift to St. Thomas, the largest ever to a Minnesota school, will be used to build a new student center.

Jane Anne Nohl—a $60 million bequest to University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Nohl and her husband, Louis, made their fortunes in investments and California real estate. Louis passed away in 1987, and Nohl followed last July at age 89. Their gift was inspired by USC's lifesaving treatments of their friend Larry Kelly. The $60 million bequest will allow the hematology division to almost double its staff, create a fellowship and a research fund, and advance the center's studies in blood disorders.

Peter Lewis—$54.5 million to various causes. Lewis, the chairman of Progressive Insurance and the CEO of the company for 35 years, is a frequent and prolific donor. The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and Princeton University are among his favorite beneficiaries. This is his 10th appearance on the Slate 60.

Richard and Melanie Lundquist—$54 million to the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and California Science Center. Lundquist is the president of Continental Development Corporation, a real-estate company that owns millions of square feet in California commercial space. His wife, Melanie, has been involved in children's educational and social causes and serves on the California Science Center Foundation's Board of Trustees. The 10-year, $50 million commitment to the Partnership for L.A. Schools aims to improve the city's public schools, but it is a conditional gift—the schools must show progress and meet benchmarks in test scores, graduation rates, and other categories. The two also gave $10 million to establish the Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.

Melvin and Bren Simon—$52.4 million to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Melvin Simon is co-chairman of Simon Property Group, the nation's largest owner of shopping malls. His wife, Bren, is a political activist and consultant. The family is also a co-owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team. In 2007 the couple and their extended family gave $40 million to Riley Hospital for the building of a new 10-story tower, to be completed in 2013. The Simons also gave $10 million to the IMA to endow the salary of the museum's top executive and free up money for educational programs. Additionally, they gave $2.4 million to the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation Inc. in Indianapolis to help complete a new outpatient care center for the under- and uninsured.

H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest—$52.1 million to various causes, including Washington and Lee University and Wilson College. Lenfest is former president and CEO of the Lenfest Group, a cable and communication company he started in West Conshohocken, Pa. His wife, Marguerite, worked at the company with him. The Lenfests gave $33 million to Washington and Lee University, Lenfest's almer mater, to increase and maintain faculty salaries. The amount represents the university's largest gift ever and is only the latest of his long giving history there—the performing arts center bears his name. The Lenfests gave $10 million to Wilson College to support a new complex for the sciences. Marguerite Lenfest serves on the school's board of trustees.

John A. Swanson—$51.3 million to the University of Pittsburgh and Washington & Jefferson College. Swanson, who received his Ph.D. in engineering from Pittsburgh in 1966, is the founder of ANSYS Inc., a software company. Pittsburgh has renamed its engineering school after Swanson in honor of his $41.3 million gift. Swanson also gave $10 million to Washington & Jefferson College.

Raymond and Kathryn Eckstein—$51 million to Marquette University. The Ecksteins, both graduates of Marquette University in Wisconsin, made their fortune in the shipping industry along the Mississippi River. Their gift to Marquette's law school is thought to be the largest to any Wisconsin school.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey—$50.2 million to two of her foundations. Winfrey, the pioneering talk-show icon, donated a bit more than $50 million to the Oprah Winfrey foundation and Oprah's Angel Network. This is her fifth appearance on the Slate 60.

Paul Foster—$50 million to Texas Tech University. Foster, the CEO and founder of Western Refining in El Paso, gave $50 million in Western Refining stock to the Texas Tech University medical school. Foster also has given to Baylor University, the Red Cross, United Way, and the Salvation Army.

Eugene B. Adkins—a $50 million bequest in artwork to two museums. Adkins, who died in February 2006, was a dedicated collector of Southwestern and American Indian art. His collection was donated to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Okla., and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma.

James T. Emerson—$50 million to the J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust. Emerson, an investor who died in 2005, is the sole benefactor of the J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust, which provides educational scholarships to students in Southern Virginia.

Dennis and Joan Gillings—$50 million to the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Gillings is the chairman and CEO of the Quintiles Transnational Corp., a company that specializes in pharmaceuticals and health care.

Martin and Constance Silver—$50 million to New York University School of Social Work. The fund will be used to provide scholarships to low-income students and to enhance the study of poverty. Martin Silver's fortune was earned during his time in the plasma-collection industry.

Joseph Zilber—$45.5 million to various causes. Zilber, the owner of Zilber Ltd., a real-estate development company, donated $30 million to the Marquette University law school for a new building. He gave $10 million to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to establish a graduate school for public health.

Lawrence Ellison
Lawrence Ellison

Lawrence Ellison$39 million to the Ellison Medical Foundation to support research programs. Ellison is the CEO of Oracle, a software and database company that he co-founded in 1977. This is his seventh appearance on the Slate 60.

Lillian Garnera $38 million bequest to the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation. The money will be used to continue the foundation's work of providing for and comforting aging family members. Garner, who passed away in July, accumulated her wealth from real-estate investment in Wisconsin.  

Wade F.B. Thompson—$36 million to various causes. The bulk of Thompson's charitable donations this year$35 million—will be used to restore the Park Avenue Armory, a historic building in the heart of New York City that will become a fine-arts venue. Thompson is the CEO and president of Thor Industries Inc., a manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Christopher "Kit" Goldsbury—$35 million to the Culinary Institute of America. Goldsbury, former owner of the Pace Salsa Company, directed his gift to fund scholarships to the school as well as establish a center dedicated to Latin American cuisine.

Don and Sanday Logan—$35 million to Auburn University. The gift from Logan, the former chairman of Time Warner's Media and Communications Group and the former CEO of Time Inc., will create the first endowed chair at Auburn's College of Science and Mathematics and will also support graduate fellowships.

David H. Murdock—$35 million to Duke University Medical School. The donation will fund a biomedical research project focused on developing more comprehensive and effective approaches to attacking cancer, diabetes, liver diseases, brain disorders, and other maladies. Specifically, the gift supports a study linking genetic data to disease risk and treatment outcomes. Murdock is the owner and chairman of Dole Food Company and the real estate development company Castle & Cooke Inc.

Patrick Soon-Shiong Family—$35 million to Saint John's Health Center. The donation will support the California hospital's expansion, including funds to complete the building of an inpatient life science center, and to begin development of a new Center for Translational Sciences. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is the founder and chief executive officer of Abraxis BioScience.

Robert Wilson—$30.5 million, including $22.5 million to the Archdiocese of New York and $8 million to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The former donation is earmarked for need-based scholarships to Catholic elementary schools in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. The latter provides matching funds. Wilson began his career at First Boston Corp. and then managed money until starting a hedge fund in 1968. He aims to give away 70 percent of his net worth.

Irwin Jacobs and Joan Jacobs—$30 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fund graduate fellowships for students in the school of engineering. Irwin Jacobs taught electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and UC-San Diego before founding Qualcomm, a telecommunications company.

Sheldon Adelson—$30 million to the Adelson School and Hebrew Senior Life. The former gift funds the creation of a private Jewish high school in Las Vegas. The latter contributes to a fund-raising campaign. Adelson is CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

Eugene and Marilyn Glick—$30 million to Indiana University. The donation will allow the university to establish an eye research institute and to create an endowment for research in eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Since 1947, the Glicks have owned and operated the Gene B. Glick Company, which builds and manages apartments in 11 states.

Charles and Anne Duncan—$30 million to Rice University. The donation will support the construction of an environmentally sustainable residential college. It will be the first Rice building to receive gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards program. Anne Duncan serves on the board of the Nature Conservancy of Texas. Charles Duncan was U.S. secretary of energy under President Carter.

William R. Hough—$30 million to theUniversity of Florida's Warrington College of Business Administration. The donation establishes an endowment to support teaching and provides lead funds for a new campus building. A member of the first class of Florida MBA graduates, Hough founded and operated the investment banking firm William R. Hough & Co. in St. Petersburg, Fla., for 42 years.

J. Peter and  Florine Ministrelli—$30 million to the Beaumont Hospitals, a regional health provider in Michigan, to support its cardiology and urology programs. This brings the Ministrellis' cumulative giving to the Beaumont Hospitals to more than $50 million. J. Peter Ministrelli—like his wife, a native Detroiter—founded Ministrelli Construction in 1951. This is the Ministrellis' first appearance on the Slate 60.

Michael Recanati and Ira Statfeld—$30 million to the New York University Child Study Center, where Statfeld and Recanati are board members. The gift will be used to establish the Asperger's Institute, with $20 million going to support clinical services, research, and educational programs and $10 million going toward a capital campaign. Recanati's father, Raphael, founded the Overseas Shipholding Group of New York as well as an American branch of his family's company, Israel Discount Bank.

Lester and Sue Smith—$30 million to the Baylor College of Medicine, to fund gene-based research into breast cancer. The Breast Center at BCM will be renamed in the Smiths' honor. With this gift, the Smiths' cumulative giving to Baylor exceeds $40 million. Lester Smith is CEO of the Houston-based Smith Energy Company; the Lester and Sue Smith Foundation support numerous nonprofit organizations in the area.

Ronald Tutor—$30 million to the University of Southern California, where Tutor is an alumnus. Tutor's donation was the lead gift for USC's new student center. Tutor is the president and CEO of the Tutor-Saliba Corporation, a construction and engineering firm. This is his second appearance on the Slate 60; in 1997, he made a $10 million donation to USC's school of engineering.

James S. McDonnell Family—$30 million to Princeton University, to establish the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience. James S. McDonnell, a pioneer in the aerospace industry, founded the company that later became McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997. McDonnell graduated from Princeton in 1921. His sons, John and James III (also Princeton alumni) have made several endowments to the university in their father's honor, including a building for the physics department and several professorships.

Alex Joseph is a Slate intern.

Juliet Lapidos is a former Slate associate editor.

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

Jon Rubin is a Slate intern.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.