T. Boone Pickens, the legendary oilman and Dallas billionaire, has an unusual offer that the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center isnâ€™t refusing.
Mr. Pickens is giving the Dallas campus $50 million today, with a hefty catch: Over the next 25 years the school must turn that gift into $500 million. Should it fall short, UT Southwestern can keep the initial $50 million â€“ but must fork over the balance to Oklahoma State University, Mr. Booneâ€™s alma mater, for student scholarships.
T. Boone Pickens Officials at the UT System and Southwestern insist theyâ€™ll meet the challenge and, no offense to college students across the Red River, every cent will stay in Texas. Why else would they have accepted the unconventional terms?
â€œUnless the country goes into a deep depression, I think it should be readily doable,â€ said Kern Wildenthal, UT Southwesternâ€™s president.
Mr. Pickens agreed. â€œCan you see UT writing a check to OSU for anything?â€ he joked.
The maverick philanthropist is giving another $50 million, with the same provisions, to UTâ€™s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Itâ€™s the largest single gift in Andersonâ€™s history and ties for the largest one to UT Southwestern.
Each campus must hit the half-billion mark before it can spend any of the money. If â€” or when â€” that happens, the money can be spent as the medical campuses best see fit.