FORT WORTH – The late Anne Marion and the Burnett Foundation, a charitable foundation based in Fort Worth, have made a $25 million gift to establish The Anne W. Marion Endowment in support of the operations of the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine in perpetuity.
This transformational gift will provide funds to support students, faculty and programming for the medical school. With a mission “to transform health care by inspiring Empathetic Scholars™,” this generous gift is a catalyst that will enable the School of Medicine to be a leader in medical education, delivery of care and scholarship, and necessary skills for complex health care issues, including the challenges of providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before her passing in February, Anne Marion said, “I am inspired by the vision of the School of Medicine to transform medical education. This school is bringing considerable advances and innovations that are reshaping curriculum and preparing its graduates to better serve the community. I am pleased to make this gift.”
Mrs. Marion’s family ties to the Fort Worth community date back nearly a century. They have a long history of supporting the priorities of the city and its institutions. The Burnett Foundation has been a generous patron of the city investing significant resources to enhance the community in myriad ways. The foundation focuses on building capacity in organizations and people through the arts and humanities, education, community affairs and health and human services.
“I am beyond thrilled and grateful for this incredibly generous gift,” said Stuart D. Flynn, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “This historic gift will help us empower current and new generations of talented and diverse students and faculty to address the complex health care issues challenging our world. The foundation’s generosity supports our efforts to create physicians who are highly skilled and knowledgeable yet compassionate care givers.”
The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine received preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in 2018 and started its first class of 60 students in July 2019. This support comes at a time when the medical school is beginning preparations for the next step of LCME approval, provisional accreditation.
The gift will support the operations of the school, which offers a novel educational experience, tailored to how students learn best, capitalizing on teamwork and active application sessions and assisting students to retain the knowledge they are learning, with the patient always at the center. Unique aspects of the program include communication skills instruction throughout all four years; a curriculum that includes clinical training in a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, allowing students to see patients over four years, which is a major factor in the students retaining the significant empathy they all have when they start medical school; and a different classroom setting with flipped classrooms, active learning and no lectures. All students are required to complete a four-year mentored research project, and students are supported through Physician Development Coaching, an innovative program created by the School of Medicine faculty, assisting each student with career advising and importantly, also addressing their wellness.
“This new medical school is training future physicians who will not only care for patients, but will provide care, empathetic communication with patients, and the critical thinking skills to lead in an industry that is always evolving and innovating,” TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. said. “This gift will contribute greatly to current and future faculty and students. I am humbled and thankful that our late colleague and dear friend Anne Marion and the Burnett Foundation embraced our goal of creating Empathetic Scholars™ with this generous gift to support the School of Medicine.”
“At a time when innovation in medical education is not only needed, but also demanded, this gift will ensure that the M.D. school continues to grow its innovative curriculum,” UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams said. “This gift recognizes the vision we had to create a new and different school. I am appreciative of this generous support and thank both Anne Marion and the Burnett Foundation.”
About the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Fort Worth’s M.D. school, opened with a class of 60 students in July 2019. TCU and UNTHSC joined together in July 2015 to form this new allopathic medical school. The School of Medicine’s focus on communication, a first-of-its-kind curriculum and the development of Empathetic ScholarsTM uniquely positions the organization to radically transform medical education, improving care for future generations. To make this new school possible, the greater North Texas community stepped up to help, providing philanthropic support. The school’s current founding donors include Alcon, Amon G. Carter Foundation, Baylor Scott & White, the Burnett Foundation, Cook Children’s, Texas Health Resources, Mr. H. Paul Dorman, Dr. John and Mrs. Priscilla Geesbreght, an Anonymous Donor, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Rebecca and Jon Brumley, The Morris Foundation, Martha Sue Parr Trust, Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation, Harriette and Arnold Gachman, and the Thomas M., Helen McKee and John P. Ryan Foundation.
About Lead On: A Campaign for TCU
On Oct. 24, 2019, TCU launched the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in its nearly 150-year history. The $1 billion goal of Lead On: A Campaign for TCU will drive support for TCU’s people, programs and endowment. Over the past several years, TCU alumni and friends have contributed $671 million in support of the campaign. For more information visit Lead On: A Campaign for TCU.