UT names medical school honoring Dell family after $50 million donation


Susan Dell announces that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will be donating $50 million to The Dell School of Medicine at the foundation’s headquarters in January.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

UT will name its new medical school in honor of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation after a $50 million donation that was announced Wednesday. 

The donation will be distributed over 10 years to the new Dell School of Medicine, which is scheduled to begin enrolling student by the fall of 2016.

The Dell family foundation will also commit $10 million toward community grants to improve the quality and access of health clinics in Austin.

“The effects of a medical school will be felt well beyond the UT campus,” Michael Dell said. “It will bring more medical expertise, specialists and researchers to the area. It will benefit for synergies between nursing, mental health, pharmacy and applied health education, and attract both private and public research funding. Ultimately, it will elevate the level of health care for the entire community.”

In November, Travis County voters approved to increase property taxes, from 7.89 cents to 12.9 cents per $100 of property value, collected by Central Health Travis County’s hospital district to help fund the medical school. 

The Dell family foundation, founded in 1999, has contributed more than $90 million to the University in funding and various health care initiatives, including the Dell Children’s Medical Center, the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity.

Dr. Aliya Hussaini, the foundation’s health team leader, said the donation will be used for education, through recruiting faculty and investing in technology and equipment.

“We’ve had some really great opportunities to partner with UT because they do some much for the community,” Hussaini said. “We know medical students tend to stay were they go to school and even more where they train. It would be great if the best and brightest medical students were here in Austin taking care of our families and our community.”

President William Powers Jr. said the previous donations from the Dell family foundation helped make the medical school possible, building the University’s health care credibility.

“It will be better for health care in Texas, it will allow people to have more specialties,” Powers said. “It will help attract faculty and students who might want to work in a health sciences area that might go somewhere else, if there wasn’t a medical school.”

Steven Leslie, executive vice president and provost, said the medical school’s steering committee is structuring the school, including its curriculum and training programs, and plans to have its inaugural dean by the fall. The steering committee is co-chaired by Dr. Robert Messing, the University’s newly appointed vice provost for biomedical sciences, and Dr. Susan Cox, regional dean for Austin programs
at UT-Southwestern.

Printed on Thursday, January 31, 2013 as: Dell family donates $50 million to medical school