UTHS Receives Largest Gift Ever Donated by an Individual

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UT announces the largest gift ever received from an individual by UTHSC, with the Hamilton Eye Institute being the beneficiary of this anonymous contribution.

The University of Tennessee announces the largest gift ever received from an individual by the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, with the Hamilton Eye Institute being the beneficiary of this anonymous contribution.

James A. Haslam II, chairman of the UT Foundation board, said the $22 million gift consisted of an out-of-state property and was made possible through the UT Foundation, established in 2001.

“This gift is confirmation of the outstanding work of Dr. Barrett Haik and the entire staff of the Hamilton Eye Institute,” UT Interim President Joe Johnson said. “Private gifts such as this one make it possible for us to build our eye institute into one of the foremost programs in the world.”

According to Dr. Haik, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology, the donors are grateful patients he has worked with for more than twenty years. “These individuals have provided tremendous support to vision science research and the protection of eyesight,” he said. “The deferred nature of this gift will help ensure the sustainability of the Hamilton Eye Institute, which will serve as an international center for excellence in ophthalmology research, patient care and education.”

One of the donors commented, “We hope our gift will go a long way toward helping find a cure for sight threatening diseases. We are so pleased the university had a foundation so we could provide this gift.”

William R. Rice, UTHSC Interim Chancellor, stated, “The Health Science Center is honored for the Hamilton Eye Institute to be awarded a gift of this magnitude. It offers great promise in providing the necessary resources to aid the Eye Institute in preventing blindness.”

Construction is currently underway on a new facility for the Hamilton Eye Institute. The institute’s mission is to provide advanced treatments for the management of ocular diseases and complex vision problems.