The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dells’ Foundation Invests $50 Million in UT Med School

    Published: Jan. 30, 2013

    Michael & Susan Dell Foundation gift is part of a multiyear, $150 million investment to establish Austin as a center for excellence in family health.

    On Jan. 30, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a new $50 million commitment to establish the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, the Dell family foundation committed another $10 million to Austin and Travis County community health quality and access programs over the next 10 years. Since its inception in 1999, the foundation has invested nearly $1 billion in health and education programs around the globe, including $150 million during the past decade to promote family and childhood health in Central Texas.

    Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System

    Francisco Cigarroa

    “This gift truly saves lives,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa. “Investments in medical education, biomedical research and health care touch all citizens. Nobody has done more for the people of Central Texas than Michael and Susan Dell. Their generosity not only benefits UT, it also lifts up our entire community.”

    Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents added, “Between the generosity of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the great citizens of Travis County who voted to transform health care in the community, a powerful public-private partnership has emerged. Austin is the new beneficiary of enhanced health care and countless economic development opportunities.”

    The Dell Medical School is scheduled to enroll its first class of 50 students in 2016.

    Michael and Susan Dell

    Michael and Susan Dell

    “A medical school at UT Austin further establishes Central Texas as a center of excellence for family health and research,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and board chair of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “UT is a world-class university, and the medical school will be able to attract top talent, advance medical research and practices, and improve family health for generations to come.”

    The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation previously funded $90 million of grants in the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, UT Austin’s Dell Pediatric Research Institute, UT’s Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, as well as basic health services such as community clinics and health supports such as electronic medical records and mobile health programs.

    William Powers, president of the University of Texas at Austin

    William Powers

    “No university could ask for better friends than Susan and Michael Dell, whose generosity has transformed the health care landscape,” said Bill Powers, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “The Dells’ support has allowed UT Austin to conduct game-changing medical research and will now allow us to provide game-changing medical care.”

    The new medical school will provide community-focused medical services, bring more medical professionals to Austin and create jobs. It will build on the world-class scientific research that UT Austin faculty members are conducting in related disciplines and is expected to attract top faculty members and students. Campus officials are currently seeking accreditation, working on state approvals, searching for permanent leadership and examining building sites for the medical school.

    The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation ( is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, Texas, New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and programs that improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $915 million (as of Jan. 1, 2013) to global children’s issues and community initiatives.

    Related items:

    Our Commitment to Central Texas: The Dell Medical School (Michael & Susan Dell Foundation blog)

    Dell family foundation to donate $60 million for UT medical school, local health care (Austin American-Statesman)

    Dell Supports UT’s Mission, On Campus and Beyond

    UT Austin medical school to be named for Dells (Tower Talk)

    • Quote 2
      Robert Cullick said on Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.
      I am spokesperson for the Dell Medical Center and would like to address two issues that have been raised by commentators. Size of the class: We'll start with a first-year class of 50, and grow the school year-by-year. We'll need to match the size of the total class to the resources that are available, including the faculty, labs and classroom space. There is no target for the ultimate class size, but we do not expect that the school will be a very large one by medical school standards. Regarding the location: It is far too early in the process to determine whether current facilities such as the tennis courts will be affected. Right now, a team is looking at the functions and requirements of the buildings that will be constructed: an education and administration building; research laboratories; a new teaching hospital; and a medical office tower. The location under review is adjacent to the university on the southeast side of the campus, including the current site of the University Medical Center at Brackenridge, which will be replaced. Thanks for your interest!
    • Quote 2
      Bill said on Feb. 2, 2013 at 8:16 p.m.
      There is a difference between the Dell Foundation and the Dell company which (apparently, to some) pays low wages. The Foundation's gift to the medical school is generous and well-needed. The Foundation is separate from the business of making computers, although some of Mr. Dell's profits from that business do go toward the Foundation.
    • Quote 2
      Divya said on Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.
      What a generous gift! The Dell Family is really doing great things for the future of Texas health. Thank you!!!
    • Quote 2
      Lea steinberg said on Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.
      Shalom! What a great Idea! All 3 of our kids are Bellaire High School graduates, UT, and Texas Medical schools: UTMB Gaverson, Baylor medical school and Texas Tech medical school. It was not easy to get in. Now the applicant will have more options. UT is a great University and maybe there will be a special program That will allow UT student preMed to be automaticly accepted to the new Med School. Anyway, We were Happy to hear that and how generous Michael and Susan Dell are.
    • Quote 2
      trish said on Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.
      Maybe the Dell Foundation can convince UT to build near the already established central Texas medical corridor in Round Rock where the first (#1) medical school is already established and Dell is well established. Since Texas A&M already has a medical school in Round Rock, UT can possibly share resources and build the second (#2) in the central Texas area. After all, our limited state resources should be shared and we already have 9 medical schools in Texas. Hopefully this is not the UT System's way of dumping UTMB.
    • Quote 2
      Emerson said on Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:23 a.m.
      I find it astonishing that someone donates $50,000,000 (on top of the billion dollars already donated) to advance education, science, and healthcare and yet there are still critics out there taking jabs. Consider the 50 students a soft opening. Austin needs to have a strong healthcare system in place in order to become an international destination, and this is a big step in the right direction. Gena, I seriously doubt the domestic Dell employees live in poverty, and their international counterparts probably have a high standard of living relative to their fellow nationals. You can't end poverty by simply raising the pay scale of everyone in the world. It is not an economic state. Poverty is a physical, societal, and emotional affliction, and healthcare along with education are the two most critical components of lifting people out of poverty. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Dell.
    • Quote 2
      Anonymous said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:29 p.m.
      wow thats very generous
    • Quote 2
      An H. Nguyen said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:49 p.m.
      Another Dell Endowment to UT? Bingo!!!
    • Quote 2
      Joetx said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
      @ Gena - I completely agree with your comment. @ Khiem - Using the tactics Gena laid out is not about being "competitive." It's about being heartless & greedy. Just because other corporations do it doesn't make it right. I guess corporations are "people" without heart or compassion.
    • Quote 2
      Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D. said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 5:47 p.m.
      The gift is so significant. Thank you. I have one question concerning the location of the building. One idea that I have heard is the the current location of the outstanding Penick-Allison Tennis Center (one of the very best for viewing matches) on Trinity between 15th and MLK is being considered. PLEASE take that location off the table. I was Captain of the UT men's tennis team in 1958, and I was a student of Dr. Penick when I was 9 years old. I later played for him and for coach Allison at UT. The UT tennis courts have been moved two times in my lifetime. I played when the courts were located on the North end of Memorial Stadium. Later they were moved to the South end of the Stadium. Then they were moved to the current location. The new indoor tennis courts are being constructed at the UT golf course at Steiner Ranch. I certainly hope that there are no plans to move the outdoor stadium there. I believe that very few students or other fans would be able or want to attend matches that far from campus. Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D. (UT tennis team 1956-1958) Austin, Texas
    • Quote 2
      Sandy said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.
      @G.O.Todd - the article ends with the info that the University is currently examining building sites. Apparently one has not yet been chosen. @wee - you have to start somewhere; and, usually, small is how it is. I feel quite certain the program would grow. @Gena - I agree that taking care of "your own" should be a real business priority. Not being am employee at Dell, I don't know what they do in that area -- but I hope to hell they are doing the right thing! That said, at least they aren't using the money to build bigger houses, buy more cars and "stuff", etc. for themselves or for other selfish interests. A name on a building opens up jobs in that building that otherwise would not exist. So, it's a step -- and a good one at that.
    • Quote 2
      Khiem said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
      Wee, I would guess that they have to start small in order to ensure they can meet all of the needs of the students. It would be unwise to accept more than they can handle much like it would be unwise for a person to try to run a marathon without having run a day in their life. Gena, while I can understand your point, please do not detract from the value of this gift. It is extremely generous and also appreciated in these times of reduced budget given by the state. As a counterpoint, a business is in business to make a profit. It may be that the current conditions are the only way to remain cost competitive while maintaining jobs in the US. An alternative would be to ship the jobs out of the country.
    • Quote 2
      gigi said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.
      I would think that 50 would be a large class. You aren't just sitting in a classroom for all those years.
    • Quote 2
      G. O. Todd said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:55 p.m.
      Apparently I missed a description (or campus map) of the location of the new school. I'm assuming the school will be situated somewhere near Saint David's Hospital. Will you provide this information?
    • Quote 2
      Gena said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.
      If Michael Dell wants to improve "the lives of urban children living in poverty" he needs to pay the parents who work at Dell in production jobs a decent wage and hire more of them as full-time employees rather than keeping so many as temporary workers with no benefits and no job security. THAT'S how to fix poverty and improve people's lives NOT by donating money to get your name on various buildings.
    • Quote 2
      Prabhudev said on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:42 p.m.
      Incredible gift!!! Thank you Dell family.
    • Quote 2
      wee said on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.
      Why only 50 students??? Please answer!! Thank you!
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