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Beverly and Will O’Hara, pictured here with their beloved pets, Max (left) and Lucy (right), are making a difference in students’ lives through philanthropy.

O’Haras make extraordinary planned gift to Health Science Center

March 2009

When Beverly and Will O’Hara of Austin decided to make a donation to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, without hesitation they agreed upon making a planned gift. Mr. O’Hara, a graduate of and lecturer at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin, and Beverly, have always been savvy in planning for their future. Now, they said, they wanted to do something that would help give others the promise of a bright tomorrow. What makes their gift extraordinary is its flexibility. In the form of a bequest of their estate, the O’Haras have donated approximately $5 million to create a series of adjustable endowments at the Health Science Center.
  • $1 million will create the Beverly H. and William P. O’Hara Academic Position Endowment, which will fund outstanding faculty in the School of Medicine.
  • $1 million will create the Beverly H. and William P. O’Hara Cardiology Research Endowment, which will be used for emerging cardiology research needs in the School of Medicine.
  • The remaining funds will be used to create the Beverly H. and William P. O’Hara Financial Aid Endowment, which will provide financial assistance to exceptional students from all schools at the Health Science Center.

"The O’Haras have always been there for me, ever since I was a student in Mr. O’Hara’s accounting class my sophomore year in Austin. They know personally what the Health Science Center has to offer students. They wanted me to have the best education and future possible. I am truly grateful to them for encouraging me to apply to the Health Science Center. I am proud to be a student here. I was so honored and appreciative that they attended my White Coat Ceremony to support my dreams and decisions. The O’Haras take pride in students and know how important our education is. Their contribution is an extremely gracious gift that only further exemplifies their commitment to the future of education and health care."
- Melissa Minor, first-year medical student

  Will O’Hara congratulates Melissa Minor
Will O’Hara congratulates Melissa Minor, a first-year medical student, at the School of Medicine’s 2008 White Coat ceremony. Minor was one of O’Hara’s former students.

When asked why they intentionally left the guidelines of their gift so flexible, Will responded: "We have a quote we live by. ‘The goal in life is not to live forever. The goal is to create something that does.’ President Cigarroa and his team have built a university with an outstanding reputation for education and health care, and we know that our gift will be used to its fullest potential by the professionals at this great university who know where it’s needed the most."

Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., thanked the O’Haras for their gift. "We are so blessed to be the recipients of the O’Haras’ friendship, generosity and trust," he said. "Their gift is extraordinary because of the flexibility it will allow us to plan for the future of our university’s needs." Dr. Cigarroa noted that planned gifts are vital to the Health Science Center, especially during uncertain economic times and when federal funds are scarce.

"The O’Haras’ gift could not have come at a better time. We are so grateful," he said.

Will takes pride in mentoring his students at the UT Austin McCombs School of Business. "One of the greatest joys in my life is to be able to make a difference in students’ lives," he said. "I teach my students about the importance of giving back whenever possible. I tell them to ‘pay it forward’ because, for a lot of kids in need, a scholarship is life altering."

Beverly added, "Our gift will benefit students and research and therefore patients will benefit in the long run, too. We hope this becomes a legacy and tradition that will carry on for generations to come."


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