AUSTIN, Texas, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Texas at Austin today received a $1 million gift from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for capital support of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, a cutting-edge center for children's health research in Central Texas.
Kenny Wilson, Central and South Texas president for Bank of America, presented the gift during an early afternoon reception hosted by university officials to educate dozens of local community leaders on the interdisciplinary benefits the new Institute and the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas will have on pediatric medical research.
"As a company, we believe that healthy communities create strong businesses," Wilson said. "UT Austin has made a tremendous investment in the health of our community's greatest assets: our children. We applaud the university's efforts and are proud to take this opportunity to join them in the creation of the Institute, which will serve as an anchor in our community by driving economic growth, attracting leading experts and generating world- class research in the field of pediatric medicine."
The Dell Pediatric Research Institute will combine The University of Texas at Austin's core expertise in life sciences, pharmacology, technology, biomedical engineering and other disciplines with the resources of the new Dell Children's Medical Center - which opened in June - along with outstanding researchers from the UT System's other health science institutions, further establishing Austin as a center of excellence for children's health and biomedical research.
A recent study commissioned by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce states that Austin's health care industry carries an annual economic impact of approximately $8.8 billion and employs more than 85,000 people. The study further concluded that a quality medical enterprise helped recruit other businesses and establish improved long-term quality of life for area residents.
The cash contribution, the largest gift from a corporate foundation for the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, will be used toward completion of the $97 million, 150,000-square-foot facility, which is currently under construction at the former Austin municipal airport site. The institute is scheduled to open in December 2008.
"The University of Texas at Austin joins the citizens of our community and all of Central Texas in thanking the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for this very generous gift," UT Austin President William Powers, Jr., said. "It will make possible innovation in the sciences, biomedical engineering and pharmacology. And it will help us to offer the most advanced health care to children and provide a healthier future for generations to come. We are deeply indebted to the Bank of America."
In May 2006, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation awarded a $38 million gift to help establish a pediatric health research institute in Austin. The UT System Board of Regents also authorized $45 million in support of the project. Of that amount, $25 million in bond proceeds from the Permanent University Fund was applied toward construction of the facility. The other $15 million was awarded from the Available University Fund and $5 million came from the UT System's Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program with the purpose of recruiting a top-notch director for the institute and providing faculty and equipment start-up costs.
"Bank of America's generous gift will significantly facilitate the University of Texas' efforts to improve the lives of thousands of children in Austin and Central Texas," said Randa S. Safady, vice chancellor for external relations for the University of Texas System. "A corporate gift of this magnitude speaks volumes about the business community's interest in ensuring the vitality and health of Austin's growing population, and we're grateful that Bank of America has taken a leadership role in doing so."
With the Bank of America Charitable Foundation $1 million gift, private support for the project received to date is $44 million. Other contributors include The RGK Foundation of Austin and the Topfer Family Foundation of Austin.
"We are thrilled with this commitment to children and their parents because it further demonstrates our shared vision to ensure the availability of world-class health care, research and education right here in Austin," said Susan Dell, co-founder and chairman of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
About The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation's leading public research universities. The faculty at the university is composed of outstanding scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including hundreds of members of prestigious academic and scientific organizations. The university has one of the largest single-campus enrollments in the nation, including students from all 254 counties within Texas, all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. Colleges and schools include Architecture, the McCombs School of Business, Communication, Continuing Education Division, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Jackson School of Geosciences, Graduate Studies, School of Information, School of Law, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, and interdisciplinary units.
About The University of Texas System
Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, the UT System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with 15 campuses - including nine academic and six health institutions - and has an annual operating budget of $10.7 billion (FY 2008) including $2.3 billion in research funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 190,000 in the 2006 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 80,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is in its fourth year of achieving an unprecedented 10-year goal to donate $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
UT System News Release: Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Grants $50 Million to University of Texas to Bring Excellence in Children's Health and Education to Austin (05/15/06): http://www.utsystem.edu/news/2006/UTS-MSDFGrant05-15-06.htm
UT System News Release: UT System Regents Allocate Funds for Dell Pediatric Research Institute (08/23/07): http://www.utsystem.edu/news/2007/BOR-DPRI-PUF-08-23-07.html
|SOURCE Bank of America|
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