Philanthropy News Blog

A roundup of philanthropic news.

This Week in Philanthropy: April 17 – 23

University of Kentucky and Jim Beam Partner to Create the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits

Jim Beam Bourbon will donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. The institute will support a curriculum to educate the next generation of distillers with the skills needed to succeed in the distilled spirits industry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.

Full article text available via the University of Kentucky News, 4/17/19.

$10M Donation Jump-Starts Truman’s NICU Expansion Campaign

The gift will help Truman Medical Centers quadruple the size of its NICU and update the current facility, which is “appropriate for the 1970s” but not today. Read on to find out how the Bridge of Hope between Truman’s Level III NICU and the Level IV NICU at Children’s Mercy influenced the Sunderlands’ decision to donate to the $18.8 million fundraising campaign.

Full article text available via the Kansas City Business Journal, 4/18/19.

$25 Million Bravo Family Foundation Gift Will Amplify Brown’s High-Impact Economics Scholarship

A $25 million gift from private equity investor and Brown University alumnus Orlando Bravo will fund the creation of an economics research center at Brown, strengthening what is already a globally recognized, nationally ranked department at the University. More than half of the gift from the Bravo Family Foundation — $15 million — will support the launch of the Orlando Bravo Center for Economic Research, enabling the department to expand the scope of its high-impact, data-driven research and to amplify its focus on training the next generation of economics researchers. The remaining $10 million will fund the recruitment and retention of world-class economics faculty.

Full article text available via News from Brown, 4/18/19.

Arizona State University Receives $10 Million for X-Ray Laser Lab

Arizona State University has announced a $10 million gift from Leo and Annette Beus in support of the development of a groundbreaking X-ray technology. The gift will enable ASU to complete the Beus Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) Lab, now under construction at the university’s Biodesign Institute. The new technology uses the most powerful X-rays in the world to capture molecules in motion and has potential applications in medicine, the “green” economy, the computer industry, and more.Full article text available via the Philanthropy News Digest, 4/22/19.

A Volunteer Docent Told a Philadelphia Museum She Would Leave It ‘a Little Something’ in Her Will. She Surprised Them With $8 Million.

Over the 15 years that Estelle Rubens served as a beloved volunteer docent at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, she and her husband Raymond were amassing a collection of modern and contemporary American art. The couple had donated several works to the museum over the years, so it wasn’t a big surprise when Estelle mentioned in her will that she would be “leaving a little something” to the academy. The shock came after Rubens died in January 18, at the age of 88, and that “little something” turned to be a gift in the form of an endowed scholarship fund totaling almost $8 million—one of the largest donations in the institution’s history. Rubens lived her entire life in Philadelphia and, along with her late husband Raymond, became an active member and supporter of the museum and the school, which counts artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, and Mary Cassatt among its alumni.

Full article text available via ArtNet News, 4/22/19.

UW-Madison Awarded $20 Million for Data Science Institute

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced a $20 million gift from American Family Insurance in support of data science initiatives on campus. The gift will be used to strengthen the university’s research capacity in the emerging field of data science and tap its potential to impact studies in fields as diverse as genetics, artificial intelligence, drug development, material science, and business. Over the next decade, $10 million of the gift will be dedicated to continuing research, while the other half will establish an endowment for the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute (AFIDSI), an initiative designed to support the university’s data science community and foster new industry partnerships.

Full article text available via the Philanthropy News Digest, 4/23/19.


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