The largest American charitable contributions of 2008.

The largest American charitable contributions of 2008.

The largest American charitable contributions of 2008.

Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Jan. 23 2009 5:54 PM

Slate 60: Donor Bios

The largest American charitable contributions of the year.

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39. Adrienne Arsht—$43.3 million to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, the University of Miami, and United Way of Miami-Dade. Arsht is the chairman emeritus of TotalBank, in Miami. She sold TotalBank to Banco Popular, with headquarters in Madrid, in November 2007. She pledged $30 million to be paid over three years, to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, formerly the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. The center received a total of $13 million toward the pledge in 2008, $4 million of which went to support programs, $7 million of which was used to pay off a bank loan, and $2 million of which was used to refund a grant made by the Carnival Corporation, a cruise line with headquarters in Miami. The Carnival Corporation agreed to relinquish its naming rights, for which it had contributed $10 million, to Arsht after her donation. The company's gift had entitled it to name the center for 10 years. Arsht said she did not ask for her name to be put on the center.

In addition, Arsht pledged $5 million to the University of Miami. She designated $2 million for the university's ethics programs to support an ethics debate series, a distinguished-speakers program, research, visiting scholars, and faculty. Another $1 million will go toward the university's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, at the Miller School of Medicine, to create a retinal degeneration research laboratory. The remaining $2 million will support other university programs. Arsht also pledged $5 million to the United Way of Miami-Dade. She made several smaller gifts as well: She donated $2 million to the Omega Foundation in Washington; $500,000 in cash and $100,000 in furniture to Blair House in Washington; $250,000 each to the Cuban American National Council in Miami, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York; and $200,000 to the University of Pennsylvania law school, in Philadelphia.


40. Sheldon G. and Miriam Adelson—$41.9 million to the Birthright Israel Foundation and the Rashi School. Sheldon Adelson is chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Miriam Adelson is a physician who specializes in drug abuse and addiction treatment. The couple pledged $30 million to the Birthright Israel Foundation, a New York organization that gives young Jewish American adults free 10-day trips to Israel if they have never visited the country. The Adelsons plan to pay $20 million of the pledge by the end of 2009 and the remaining $10 million in 2010. In addition to the pledge, the couple gave Birthright nearly $6.9 million in cash for a matching-gift program. The Adelsons also pledged $5 million to the Rashi School, a Jewish elementary and middle school, in Newton, Mass. The money—which will be paid over five years at $1 million per year—will help finance a new facility in Dedham, Mass.

41. Jon L. Stryker—$41.8 million to the Arcus Foundation and the Arcus Operating Foundation. Stryker is an architect and heir to the Stryker Corp. fortune. The medical-products company was founded by his grandfather, Homer Stryker, a surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. Stryker, 50, gave $34.5 million to the Arcus Foundation to support the organization's two primary programs: combating discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and ensuring the survival of great apes and their habitats. Stryker established the foundation in 2000 and is its president. He also gave $6.5 million to the Arcus Operating Foundation. In addition to his Arcus gifts, Stryker donated $284,949 to Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Fla.; $164,384 to the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Fla.; $150,000 to the Museum of Modern Art in New York; $110,000 to Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1982; and $25,000 to the Synergos Institute, a New York charity that works to fight poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He also gave a total of $150,983 to other arts, conservation, education, and human-service groups.

42. Lawrence J. Ellison—$40.3 million to the Ellison Medical Foundation. Ellison, the founder of Oracle, gave $40.3 million to the Ellison Medical Foundation for biomedical research. The foundation, established in 1997, supports research on age-related diseases and disabilities, stem-cell research, and other areas of scientific study that might not be supported by other financing sources. Over the last year, the foundation has supported stem-cell research related to aging, research into the genes that influence a person's longevity, and research into the use of neuroimaging to find biological clues to neural ailments such as Parkinson's disease, as well as such nonlife-threatening conditions as autism and dyslexia.

43. Andrew S. Grove—$40 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Grove, 72 and a co-founder of Intel, pledged $40 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease and improving therapies for those living with the disease. Grove was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000 and serves as a senior adviser to the Fox Foundation. His donation will come to the foundation after his death. Born in Hungary, Grove came to the United States in 1956 and in 1960 graduated from the City College of New York with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1963 from the University of California-Berkeley.

43. John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn—$40 million to the San Francisco Opera and Family & Children Services. John Gunn is chairman of Dodge & Cox Funds in San Francisco. Cynthia Gunn is a former editor and director of the Portable Stanford book series. The Gunns gave $40 million to the San Francisco Opera, of which $35 million will underwrite new artistic projects and $5 million will endow the general director's chair. Opera officials say the majority of the gift, which was the largest in the company's history, has been paid. The couple previously supported individual productions at the opera and underwrote a free live video simulcast of Rigoletto at Stanford University's Frost Amphitheater in 2006. Gunn is chairman of the opera's board of directors. Gunn's relationship with the opera goes back to his high-school days, when he attended dress rehearsals and operas with a classmate and friend, Ronald Adler, who later became director of the Berlin State Opera. (Adler's father, Kurt Herbert Adler, served as general director of the San Francisco Opera.) The couple also gave $25,000 in 2008 to Family & Children Services.

45. William B. Quarton—$35.4 million to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the St. Luke's Hospital Foundation, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Quarton served as chief executive officer of WMT, the first television station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He later developed cable-television franchises in 15 Iowa cities, which he sold with a partner in 1983. He was also a private investor. Quarton, who died in 2007 at the age of 104, bequeathed $35 million to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, $260,000 to the St. Luke's Hospital Foundation in Cedar Rapids, and $100,000 to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. He stipulated that the gift to the community foundation be designated in the following ways: $5 million to an endowment for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, $3.5 million to an endowment for the Community Health Free Clinic, $3.5 million to an endowment for Coe College, and $1.75 million to an endowment for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. The remainder of the donation, $21.25 million, is an unrestricted gift. His gifts to the hospital foundation and to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation were designated for their endowments. Quarton was born in Algona, Iowa, and spent most of his life in Cedar Rapids. Officials of the community foundation say Quarton was a strong believer in unrestricted gifts. "He would often say you can't predict changing community need. He wanted his philanthropic assets to adapt to circumstances that neither he nor anyone could foresee," said Daniel R. Baldwin, chief executive officer of the foundation. "His wisdom proved true when Cedar Rapids suffered a 500-year flood in June 2008. His [gift] will be an important part of our city's recovery."

46. Michael S. "Mickey" and Janie Maurer—$35.2 million to the Indiana University Foundation. Michael Maurer, 66, is the chairman of the IBJ Media Corporation, a media company in Indianapolis that publishes three newspapers. He is also chairman of the National Bank of Indianapolis, which he co-founded in 1993. The couple pledged $35 million to the Indiana University Foundation for the Indiana University law school to support scholarships for students. The school was renamed the Michael Maurer School of Law. The gift will be invested in the foundation's endowment, and the income will be used to support the Michael and Janie Maurer Scholarships in perpetuity. The commitment will also be matched by Indiana University. The gift is the largest ever made to support the law school, according to officials at the institution. Maurer has been a supporter of Indiana University for more than 30 years, graduating from its law school in 1967. He received the university's Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2001. He received the university's Foundation President's Medal in 2007 for his long-term support of the foundation and the university. He also chaired the law school's first capital campaign during the 1990s. The Maurers said they also donated approximately $200,000 to a variety of other charities throughout central Indiana in 2008, but they would not provide further details.

47. Dennis J. and Constance Templeton Keller—$35 million to Princeton University, the Nature Conservancy, and the African Wildlife Foundation. Dennis Keller is founding chairman of DeVry, a publicly held higher-education company. He is also a director of Nicor, a natural-gas distributor in Naperville, Ill., and of Ryerson, a metal-processing and distribution company in Chicago. The Kellers pledged $25 million to Princeton University to endow and name the university's new Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, which will integrate engineering courses with those in the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. One of the center's goals is that all Princeton students take at least one engineering course. The gift will also support internships, entrepreneurial activities, lectures, and professorships at the center. The Kellers designated $2.5 million of the gift for a general innovation fund in engineering, and the same amount to support the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, where Princeton scientists and engineers collaborate on solving problems related to the sustainable use of land, water, and animal resources. The couple also gave $5 million each to the Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Va., and the African Wildlife Foundation in Washington, for their joint land-conservation projects in Africa. Dennis Keller graduated from Princeton in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in economics and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1968. He is a trustee of Princeton University and of the University of Chicago, and chairman of the board of trustees of the African Wildlife Foundation. Constance Keller is chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Nature Conservancy's Illinois chapter.

47. Andrew H. and Ann Rubenstein Tisch—$35 million to Cornell University. Tisch is co-chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the executive committee of Loews Corporation, a holding company in New York with interests in oil and gas, financial services, real estate, and hotels. The Tisches also owned the Loews movie-theater chain, which they sold in 1985. They have pledged $35 million to Cornell University, which will be paid off in two years, to create an endowment supporting the Tisch University Professorships, for universitywide faculty recruitment and retention at the provost's discretion. The pledge is meant to give Cornell flexibility to pursue new programs, rebuild academic departments depleted by multiple retirements, strengthen emerging interdisciplinary fields, and attract and retain the most sought-after midcareer professors, university officials said.

The Tisch family has long supported Cornell, financing scholarships and contributing consistently to the annual fund. In 2002, Andrew and his brother, James, both alumni, established the Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professorship, which allows a faculty member approaching retirement to continue teaching for as many as three years while freeing the provost to hire another professor. Andrew Tisch serves on Cornell's board of trustees, alumni-affairs steering committee, major-gifts committee, and campaign cabinet. He earned a bachelor's degree in hotel administration from Cornell in 1971. He serves on the governing boards of the Children's Hearing Institute, the City Parks Foundation, the New York City Police Foundation, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, all in New York. He also serves on the Harvard Business School Dean's Board of Advisers. Ann Tisch serves on the boards of Washington University in St. Louis, her alma mater; New York University's Tisch School of the Arts; and the Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association in New York. She is also founder and president of the Young Women's Leadership Network in New York.

49. Peter T. Paul—$34.2 million to the University of New Hampshire, the Peter T. Paul Foundation, Boston University, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and several health and social-services organizations. Paul, 65, is the chief executive of Headlands Asset Management, a residential mortgage investment business in San Rafael, Calif. He was previously president of Paul Financial, a private mortgage-banking company he founded in 2003. He is also owner of Peter Paul Wines in San Rafael and president of West Biofuels, an energy research and development company in Woodland, Calif. He pledged $25 million in June 2008 to the University of New Hampshire as a challenge to alumni, friends, and New Hampshire businesses to raise an additional $25 million for a new building for the college of business and economics. The pledge will be paid over five years at about $5 million per year. Upon approval of the university's board, the college with be named for him. He also donated almost $150,000 to the university in 2008 as an unrestricted gift and to establish two funds for research and faculty development and scholarship support for the business school.

Paul also started his own private charitable organization in 2008, the Peter T. Paul Foundation. He contributed $8.3 million to the foundation last year and said he would probably use that money to fulfill pledge commitments. He also pledged $500,000 to Boston University to pay for nontenured faculty salaries; $50,000 to the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center to pay for scholarships for educational programs there; $20,000 to the human-service group the St. Vincent De Paul Society to help renovate that group's kitchen facilities; and $215,000 to various other health and social-service charities that he did not name. Paul graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and from Boston University in 1971 with a master's degree in the same subject.

50. David F. Bolger—$30.5 million to the Valley Hospital Foundation. Bolger is president of Bolger & Co., a real estate and investment firm in Ridgewood, N.J. He pledged $30 million over five years to the Valley Hospital Foundation, in Ridgewood, N.J. The gift will help the hospital with renovations and new construction, including the building of a new inpatient facility. The new building, which will bear Bolger's name, will include "the most advanced operating rooms and procedure suites, the latest imaging technology, and three floors of spacious single patient rooms," hospital officials said. Bolger also gave $450,000 to the hospital in March 2008 so it could buy a portable CT scanner. Bolger grew up in Midland Park, N.J., and lives in Sarasota, Fla., and northern New Jersey. He told hospital officials that he made his gift to enhance "the quality of life for all our citizens, regardless of race, religion, gender, or social standing." He supported many other charities in 2008, including the Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff, N.J.; the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass.; and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. He declined to disclose how much money he gave to those groups.

51. Edmund A. and Barbara E. Hajim—$30.1 million to the University of Rochester. Edmund Hajim was chairman of the investment bank Furman Selz for 15 years. He sold that bank to ING Group in 1997 and became chairman of ING Aeltus Group. In 2002 he started his own investment business, called MLH Capital, and he is also a director at Morgan Joseph, an investment bank in New York. The Hajims pledged $30 million to the University of Rochester to benefit Rochester's school of engineering and applied sciences. The gift is the largest that the university has ever received. It will be split nearly evenly between providing scholarships for engineering students who have significant financial need and supporting the engineering school's endowment.

Hajim would not release all the terms of the pledge but said that he and his wife paid $2 million in 2008 toward the pledge and that most of the endowment part of the pledge will come as a bequest after their deaths. Hajim's goal for the scholarship portion of the gift is to ultimately provide financial support to five Hajim Scholars in each of the four undergraduate classes, for a total of 20 scholarships. He also gave $50,000 in 2008 to the university as an unrestricted annual gift. Edmund Hajim, who grew up both in Los Angeles and on the East Coast, graduated from the university in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He earned a master's degree in business administration with honors from Harvard in 1964. Hajim is chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Rochester. He has been on various committees and councils at the university for more than 30 years and has been a trustee since 1988. He and his wife are also trustees of their own Hajim Family Foundation, which he says awards approximately $300,000 per year.

51. Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang—$30.1 million to Stanford University and several education and social-service charities. Jen-HsunHuang is founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia Corporation, a computer-graphics company in Santa Clara, Calif. The Huangs pledged $30 million over seven years to the Stanford School of Engineering to help build the Jen-Hsun Huang School of Engineering Center. The 130,000-square-foot building, expected to be completed by 2010, will be designed with energy- and water-saving features, according to officials at Stanford. The couple also donated $140,000 to various education and social-services groups in 2008. Jen-Hsun Huang earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1992.

53. Steven G. Mihaylo$30 million to California State University-Fullerton.Mihaylo, 65 founded Inter-Tel, a manufacturer of voice and data network equipment for small to midsized businesses worldwide, in 1969. He sold Inter-Tel to the Canadian telecommunications company Mitel the following year. Mihaylo recently became chief executive of iMergent, a company in Orem, Utah, that provides software for Internet commerce for small businesses and entrepreneurs. He pledged $30 million—10 percent of which has been paid in cash—to California State University-Fullerton's College of Business and Economics to endow professorships, faculty programs, student scholarships, and programs that include enhanced career-placement services and expansion of the master's of business administration program. With this gift, the college will also be named for Mihaylo. He will pay off the remainder of the pledge—the biggest the university has ever received—over the next nine years.

Mihaylo grew up in Southern California and is an alumnus of the university. He spent three years in the U.S. Army before enrolling at the university with aid from the GI Bill. He graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He is the chairman of the Campaign for Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, a member of both the dean's advisory board and the board of governors, and a lifetime member of the alumni association. His gift of $4.5 million in 2004 kicked off the business school's campaign and secured naming rights to the school's new Steven G. Mihaylo Hall, which opened in August.

54. Peter B. Lewis—$29.7 million to various environmental, human rights, progressive, and youth groups. Lewis, 75, is chairman of the Progressive Corp. He donated $29.7 million to more than 90 nonprofit organizations in the areas of the environment, human rights, progressive causes, and youth. Lewis graduated from Princeton University in 1955 and serves on that institution's board. He began working for Progressive, the company his father founded, in 1955 and was chief executive officer of the company from 1965 to 2000, when he stepped down from that role. Lewis is a former chairman of the board of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and serves on the board of the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington.

55. Joseph H. Moss—$25.2 million to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Moss is a private investor and a retired Delta Air Lines pilot. Moss, 86, gave $25.2 million worth of stock in March 2008 to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to support the hospital's transplant program and staff, and to buy new equipment. Part of the gift—$1.5 million—will also pay for a professorship in liver transplant, pediatrics, and hepatology for Rene Romero, medical director of the pediatric liver transplant program at the hospital. The rest of the donation is unrestricted. Moss says he has always tried to help children with his philanthropy. In 2004, he gave $50,000 to help pay for a kidney transplant for Edgar Gutierrez, a boy from Mexico whom Moss read about in the newspaper. He is very interested in the technology of organ transplants. Moss, who lived in Atlanta for more than 50 years, now lives in Austin, Texas, and in New York. He began investing in the stock market as soon as he returned home from serving in World War II in 1945. He continues to invest in the stock market through a small company bearing his name.

56. David and Patricia Atkinson—$25 million to the Princeton HealthCare System. David Atkinson is a private investor. He retired in 1992 as a general partner of Miller, Anderson & Sherrerd, a money-management firm in suburban Philadelphia. He was previously a vice president at Morgan Stanley and managed mutual funds and portfolios for other investment banks. The Atkinsons pledged $25 million, of which $8.5 million has been paid, to support hospital relocation and construction of the new University Medical Center at Princeton, the acute-care hospital of the Princeton HealthCare System. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2011 on a 50-acre site in Plainsboro, N.J., much larger than the 9-acre site in Princeton that contains the old facility. The Atkinson pledge is thought to be the largest gift from an individual ever made to a hospital in New Jersey. The pledge, scheduled to be paid over three years, is a matching gift. To encourage the hospital's physicians and staff members to support the construction project, $5 million of the pledge will be used to match each dollar committed by employees who make gifts toward the hospital's relocation. The rest of the money will be used to provide $2 for every $1 contributed toward the construction of the new hospital. The Atkinsons have long supported the hospital. Patricia Atkinson served as a membership chair for the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary for 10 years and has volunteered at the Princeton Meals on Wheels program for more than 20 years. David Atkinson has also been a patient of the hospital.

56. Verna B. Dauterive—$25 million to the University of Southern California. Dauterive is a retired school teacher and principal. She is the widow of Peter W. Dauterive, who founded the Founders Savings & Loan Association in Los Angeles. She pledged $25 million to the University of Southern California in memory of her husband, who graduated from the university in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He died in 2002 at 83. The university has not yet decided how to use Dauterive's gift, according to a spokesman at the institution. Both the university and Dauterive declined to disclose any terms of the pledge. The Dauterives were both originally from Louisiana. Verna Dauterive earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, in 1943. She went on to earn her master's and doctoral degrees in education at the University of Southern California in 1949 and 1966, respectively. She lives in Los Angeles.

56. Joe and Rika Mansueto—$25 million to the University of Chicago. Joe Mansueto is chairman of Morningstar, an investment-research company in Chicago. The Mansuetos pledged $25 million in unrestricted funds to the University of Chicago. In recognition of the gift, the university is naming the school's new library after them. The library was designed by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn and will be built partially underground and topped with a 35-foot-high glass dome. It will have the capacity to house 3.5 million volumes of print material. Both the donors and the university declined to discuss any terms of the pledge. The Mansuetos are alumni of the university: Joe Mansueto received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1978 and his master's degree in business administration in 1980. Rika Mansueto received her bachelor's degree in anthropology in 1991.

56. Benjamin and Luanne Russell—$25 million to Children's Hospital of Alabama, the Alexander City Schools Education Foundation, and the Alabama Child Caring Foundation. Benjamin Russell is chairman of the board of Russell Lands, a company in Alexander City, Ala., that develops residential real estate in Alabama and manages lakeside rental homes. The Russells pledged $25 million to the Children's Hospital of Alabama to support a new building on the hospital's downtown Birmingham campus. The hospital will be renamed for Russell's grandfather, Benjamin Russell, who founded several businesses in central Alabama, including a bank, a phone company, a power company, and a textile and apparel company. The new building is anticipated to open in 2012. The hospital kicked off its "Keeping Promises" capital campaign in the spring of 2008, designed to raise $100 million by the hospital's 100th anniversary in 2011. The gift from the Russells is part of the new campaign. The couple also donated $30,000 to the Alexander City Schools Education Foundation and $15,000 to the Alabama Child Caring Foundation in Birmingham, which helps provide medical care for uninsured children. Neither the Russells nor the recipient charities would provide further details about the pledge and gifts.

56. R. Michael and Mary Shanahan—$25 million toHarvey Mudd College. R. Michael Shanahan is chairman emeritus of Capital Research and Management Company in Los Angeles, an adviser to the American Funds. The Shanahans pledged $25 million to Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., which is the largest gift to the institution in its history. R. Michael Shanahan has been a Mudd trustee since 1992. The first half of the five-year pledge was given in October, and the gift is unrestricted. The money will be used to advance the college's strategic plan, the college announced. The couple previously gave $10 million to the college to support scholarships, a new dining center, an endowed faculty chair, and other projects.

R. Michael Shanahan grew up in Los Angeles and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration at Stanford University. He spent three years in the Navy as a junior officer and started working in 1965 at Capital Research as a financial analyst. Mary Shanahan, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., earned her degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. She is a regent of that institution and a trustee of Notre Dame de Sion School of Kansas City.

56. Oscar L. Tang—$25 million to Phillips Academy. Tang is a private investor who founded the investment firm Reich & Tang in New York. He is also president of the Phillips Academy Board of Trustees. He pledged $25 million to Phillips Academy to support the school's strategic plan, which includes expanding access for the most qualified students to attend Phillips regardless of their ability to pay and attracting highly qualified faculty members. Of the total pledged, $6 million will be used for the restoration and expansion of the Addison Gallery of American Art. Both Tang and Phillips Academy declined to discuss any further terms of the pledge. Tang, who immigrated to the United States from China when he was 11, graduated from Phillips Academy in 1956. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Yale in 1960 and a master's degree in business.