Philanthropy News Blog

A roundup of philanthropic news.

This Week in Philanthropy: December 25 – January 1

UTSA Year in Review, No. 2: UTSA Advances Downtown Campus Vision Through $90 Million Funding, Gift and Land

UTSA announced it has received a $15 million gift from San Antonio business leader Graham Weston to support the university’s proposed School of Data Science. The school is a major component in UTSA’s phased, 10-year approach to accelerating the development of its Downtown Campus as a destination for producing highly skilled professionals in big data and analytics, advancing economic development in the urban core and creating prosperity for San Antonio.

Full article text available via UTSA Today, 12/30/2018.

Former Dean Pledges $20 Million To University Of Arizona

A professor emeritus at the University of Arizona has pledged a record $20 million to his alma mater. The gift is a result of how UA treated him.

James Wyant said he’s grateful to the university for its flexibility when he wanted to start a company and allowing him to work part time for more than a dozen years as the company grew.

Wyant said the financial success of WKYO Corp. made the gift to the College of Optical Sciences possible. It’s the largest gift of its kind in the University’s history. The money will be used to create at least ten endowed chairs which are faculty positions focused on research.

Full article text available via KJZZ, 12/31/2018.

Furman University Receives $6 Million Gift from Estate of World War II Veteran

Furman University has received a $6 million bequest from the estate of a World War II veteran who was one of the school’s most ardent supporters, Furman University President Elizabeth Davis said.

A 1950 Furman graduate and Summerville resident, Thomas Farmer gave his alma mater a total of $3.8 million before passing away in 2014 at the age of 90, according to a release from the school. The bequest from his estate brings his total giving to the university to nearly $10 million.

Full article text available via Greenville News, 12/26/2018.

Social Worker Leaves Secret $11 Million Fortune to Children’s Charities

Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he had long planned.

The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $11 million estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and abandoned. The amount baffled the beneficiaries and his best friends, who are lauding Naiman as the anniversary of his death approaches in January.

Full article text available via New York Post, 12/28/2018.

Philanthropy Awards, 2018

The world of giving has been changing fast in recent years—so fast that it can be hard to keep up with all that’s going on. Nearly every week seems to bring news of a huge gift or funding initiative, often from deep-pocketed donors who only recently emerged on the scene. There’s also plenty of flux in foundation land, as concerns about equity and race push to the forefront and as trends like impact investing and listening gain more steam.

Full article text available via Inside Philanthropy, 12/31/2018.

LSU Veterinary School Gifted $10.1M to Fund Five Programs

Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine has received the largest gift in its history with a $10.1 million combined estate commitment from Herman C. Soong, MD, and his wife, Connie Soong.

The couple’s Chihuahuas have been long-time patients at the veterinary school. Dr. Soong also does work with Dr. Wendy Wolfson, assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences at LSU, in the Shelter Medicine Program to educate veterinary students on the signs of animal abuse and how it can translate to violent crimes against humans.

Full article text available via AVMA, 12/31/2018.