Mays Family Foundation makes legacy gift of $30 million for UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center

UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, greets Lowry and Peggy Mays at the naming ceremony for the Mays Cancer Center.

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 30, 2018) ― William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), announced today that the Mays Family Foundation is increasing its legacy gift supporting the UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center to $30 million.

Today’s $25 million contribution builds on the Mays Family Foundation’s earlier gift of $5 million in 2015 that established the Mays Family Foundation Distinguished University Presidential Chair for the Director of the Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. The Cancer Center formerly was called the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC).

In recognition and appreciation of the Mays’ generosity, the UT System Board of Regents authorized naming the UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center as the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. The announcement was made at a celebration honoring the Mays family at the Cancer Center, located at 7979 Wurzbach Road in the South Texas Medical Center.

“Peggy and Lowry Mays and their family, through the Mays Family Foundation, are committed to ensuring that patients in San Antonio and South Texas receive world-class cancer care, close to their community. This remarkable San Antonio family has made a significant investment in our region’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center to make exceptional, comprehensive cancer care a reality for South Texans,” President Henrich said.

The combined contributions from the Mays Family Foundation will provide a substantial endowment to perpetually support the director of the Mays Cancer Center and to establish up to 10 new permanent distinguished endowed chairs to support key faculty recruitment and retention. The gift also will establish the Mays Cancer Center Excellence Endowment to support top priorities for future success and long-term sustainability for generations to come.

“This legacy contribution from the Mays Family Foundation will provide vital support for top-quality cancer care, innovative cancer research, investment in new drug discovery, and support for educating and training the next generation of leaders in cancer. It also invests in the leadership and vision of the Mays Cancer Center director and university president to capitalize on strategic opportunities now and in the future,” said Mays Cancer Center Director Ruben A. Mesa, M.D., FACP.

“The Board of Regents is honored to recognize the Mays family for a monumental investment not only in an institution, but in the people of their great city. We are proud that three of the four NCI-Designated Cancer Cancers in this state are UT health institutions, including UT Health San Antonio, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and UT Southwestern. The Mays’ gift comes at a very important time, given UT Health San Antonio’s developing affiliation with MD Anderson, and its grand vision to enhance access to the most advanced cancer care available. If there ever was a perfect time to use the word ‘transformational,’ this is the day,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents.

UT System Chancellor William McRaven added, “Philanthropy is essential to the success of any NCI-Designated Cancer Center, which by its very nature is a leader in cancer care and research in its region. We all understand the toll cancer takes on patients, families and communities. For more than four decades, the Mays family has set a high bar in strategic investing to help those engaged in the battle with cancer.”

Peggy and Lowry Mays and their family have been key supporters of the Cancer Center since the early years. Peggy Mays, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Cancer Center, founded the Cancer Center’s highly successful annual fund program – the Cabinet – in 1996. The Cabinet has raised nearly $8 million over the program’s 21-year history. Cabinet gifts provide essential support for innovative cancer research, state-of-the-art equipment and critical cancer education and patient care programs.

Kathryn Mays Johnson, president of the Mays Family Foundation, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Cancer Center and is a past president of the SA Cancer Council (formerly known as the Cancer Center Council). Over the past 33 years, the council has supported the Cancer Center through fundraising, volunteer services, community outreach and education, and patient assistance. The SA Cancer Council has raised more than $4.5 million for these purposes.

“As longtime supporters and advocates of our Cancer Center in San Antonio, we are pleased to provide significant financial support at this critical time. We are inspired by the Cancer Center’s exceptional leadership, mission, vision and goals, and we are especially pleased that our investment will support the Mays Cancer Center as we continue to develop the affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Center,” said Lowry Mays. “We are very proud that our family name will forever be associated with this Cancer Center, which serves millions of people in San Antonio and across South Texas.”

In addition to their support for UT Health San Antonio and the Mays Cancer Center, the Mays family has generously supported MD Anderson Cancer Center, bringing their cumulative giving to the two UT System institutions to more than $50 million.

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