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Pickens: UT must earn $50M gift
Donation can be turned into $500M in 25 years, medical center says
01:35 PM CDT on Thursday, May 17, 2007
By HOLLY K. HACKER firstname.lastname@example.org
T. Boone Pickens became a billionaire making shrewd business deals. His next venture stands to make a
half-billion dollars for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas – with some unusual
Mr. Pickens visited the campus Wednesday to announce that he's donating $50 million. Here's the hefty
catch: Over the next 25 years, the school must turn that gift into $500 million. Until that happens, it can't
spend a dime.
But speaking before 250 people, Mr. Pickens and a substantial entourage of campus and
UT System officials left out the most interesting part of the deal. Should UT Southwestern
fall short of the half-billion mark, it can keep only the initial $50 million and must fork over
the balance to Oklahoma State University, Mr. Boone's alma mater, for student
UT leaders insist that they'll meet the challenge and that, no offense to college students
across the Red River, every cent will stay in Texas. Why else would they have accepted the
"Unless the country goes into a deep depression, I think it should be readily doable," said
Kern Wildenthal, UT Southwestern's president.
Mr. Pickens agreed. "Can you see UT writing a check to OSU for anything?" he joked.
The gift ties for the largest in UT Southwestern history. The maverick philanthropist is giving another $50
million, with the same provisions, to UT's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It's the largest gift in
If – or when – the medical campuses hit their financial target, they can spend their fortunes as they see fit.
"I predict that although we'll have made tremendous strides over 25 years, we'll still have problems," D