Dedman gift establishes Distinguished Chair in Neurologic Disease

Nancy Dedman

By Brittany Worley

Nancy McMillan Dedman, a longtime friend of UT Southwestern and Southwestern Medical Foundation, hopes that her most recent philanthropic investment serves as a catalyst for others to give. Through a transformational gift of $1 million to Southwestern Medical Foundation, Mrs. Dedman established the Dedman Family Distinguished Chair in Neurologic Disease at UT Southwestern Medical Center, a permanently endowed Chair that will benefit work at the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute.

“Southwestern Medical Foundation is a great steward of the funds entrusted to it and has been a devoted partner with UT Southwestern in improving the quality of health care for our community,” said Robert H. “Bob” Dedman Jr., Chairman of the Dedman Foundation and Mrs. Dedman’s son. “We believe that UT Southwestern is the one institution that can make a meaningful impact in brain health within our lifetimes. The O’Donnell Brain Institute has the ability to attract the right talent and resources to unravel the mysteries of the brain.”

Scientific teams at the O’Donnell Brain Institute are currently working on more than 500 leading-edge research pursuits that are bringing us closer to answers about some of the biggest medical problems facing our society, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression and mood disorders, brain tumors, stroke, and brain injury.

“All of us have family and friends that have been affected by brain health issues,” said Mr. Dedman. “With Edith and Peter O’Donnell’s commitment and willingness to have the Institute named after them, I know it will be successful.”

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, said, “Mrs. Dedman’s generous support enables UT Southwestern to support faculty whose paradigm changing research provides hope to those suffering from brain-related illnesses.”

Support to further research

The Dedman Foundation has a long history of giving to UT Southwestern, including a gift of $12 million in 2008 to establish the Dedman Family Endowed Program for Scholars in Clinical Care at UT Southwestern. The gift, made to Southwestern Medical Foundation, was matched to create a $24 million endowment that allows UT Southwestern to recruit promising early career physicians to be mentored by senior clinicians and physician-scientists.

Twenty Dedman Scholars have been appointed since 2008, with the Program supporting their innovative research across fields such as Type 1 diabetes, organ transplantation, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, and many more.

In 2009, Southwestern Medical Foundation presented the family with The Sprague Award, one of the most prestigious awards in health care philanthropy.

In 2012, the Dedman Foundation made a gift of $1 million to support the capital campaign for William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Mr. Dedman has been a member of the Southwestern Medical Foundation Board of Trustees since May 2000. He served on the Innovations in Medicine capital campaign at UT Southwestern, which helped raise $770 million for medical research, education, and patient care.

An inspiring legacy

The matriarch of one of the most generous families in Texas, Mrs. Dedman was married to Robert H. Dedman Sr. for 49 years before his death in 2002. She has served on the UT Southwestern University Hospitals & Clinics Board of Visitors, the board of the Shelter Ministries of Dallas, and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. She also supports the Dallas Museum of Art, the Texas Ballet Theater, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In 2004, she was honored with the Annette G. Strauss Humanitarian Award.

“At almost 90 years young, my mother continues my parents’ legacy of caring for others,” said Mr. Dedman. “It started in 1951 when my parents met in Dallas, fell in love, raised a family, and built a business with the help of many great employee partners that far exceeded their expectations of success. In essence, our family has lived the American dream. We believe part of the American dream is the responsibility of helping others.”

The Dedman family name is synonymous with giving in North Texas. They’ve brought to life some of the most recognizable and inspirational programs in our area, including the Dedman School of Law, the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports at Southern Methodist University.

“The Dedman family’s generosity has been at the epicenter of so many of Dallas’ key initiatives,” said Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “They are encouragers, innovators, and change-makers who are shaping our city with a vision that is full of heart and thoughtful insight.”

“My mother is inspired by her faith first and second by sharing the gift of better health with others,” said Mr. Dedman. “She has been blessed by excellent health and exceptional health care throughout her life and she would like to share that gift.”

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

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