Most-Read Alumni and Giving Stories of 2021

A look back at 12 of UT Southwestern's most popular stories from the past year.

Throughout 2021, the contributions of our alumni and supporters sustained UT Southwestern's momentum as one of the nation's top academic medical centers.

From a Navy veteran's impact on future plastic surgeons to a energy industry titan's volunteer contributions spanning more than two decades, here are our readers' favorite stories.

  1. Photo collage of military tactical jets and helicopters with an image of Dr. James Thorton performing a surgical procedure in an operating room

    Called to Serve and Heal

    Navy veteran, James Thornton, M.D., trains the next generation of plastic surgeons at his alma mater.

  2. Michael Cotten with Dr. Rosen

    Mentorship Shapes the Student Experience

    Michael Cotten's greatest academic influence was the mentor he met at UT Southwestern.

  3. Gray Umbach with students and faculty mentors of Estabrook College

    Record-Setting Swimmer Finds Calling at UT Southwestern

    After besting an Olympian’s high school swimming record, medical student Gray Umbach found his true calling in Medical School.

  4. Photo of Ray Calvert, Dr. Udit Verma, and Paula Calvert

    A Wife’s Memory Inspires a Legacy of Giving

    Ray Calvert’s generosity to UT Southwestern continues to honor his wife by supporting pancreatic cancer research.

  5. FotoFinder Bodystudio Automated Total Body Mapping system interface

    Making a Mountain of Impact out of a Mole Machine

    Donation brings state-of-the-art skin cancer screening to UTSW Dermatology Department.

  6. Portrait of Grace Cook

    Grace Cook on Organizing The Cary Council’s Signature Event During a Pandemic

    Third generation philanthropist continues her family’s legacy of engagement with UT Southwestern.

  7. Portrait of Jeffrey Chapman

    Jeffrey A. Chapman on His Role Leading the President’s Advisory Board

    Top M&A lawyer shares how UT Southwestern impacted his life and why he gives back.

  8. Portrait of Gay F. Solomon

    Gay F. Solomon on Her Role Leading the Arts and Interiors Committee

    Art collector focuses her aesthetic eye on UT Southwestern’s growing collection.

  9. Portrait of Caitlin Peters

    Restoring Humanity Through Medicine

    A love of art and helping others led Caitlin Peters to study prosthetics and orthotics at UT Southwestern.

  10. Portrait of Florencia Velasco Fortner

    Florencia Velasco Fortner on Her Volunteer Service to UT Southwestern

    Longtime advocate for health care in Dallas minority communities was instrumental in translation efforts for the institution’s landmark COVID-19 study.

  11. A line of cars drive onto the UT Southwestern campus past trees decorated with colorful streamers

    'DocStars' Make a House Call

    The Cary Council honored promising UT Southwestern researchers with an event designed to bring science from the research lab to the home.

  12. Portrait of Sandi and Ron Haddock

    Ron Haddock, Longstanding Board of Visitors Chairman and President’s Advisory Board Member

    Oil and gas titan reflects on two decades of engagement with UT Southwestern.

We're already working on great stories to share in 2022. To get the latest, follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook.

If you have story ideas or want to learn more about how giving is making an impact at UT Southwestern, email us at