UTD’s Center for BrainHealth Receives $500K Donation

Dallas philanthropists and civic and business leaders Dee and Charles Wyly will give $500,000 to The University of Texas at Dallas’ nationally acclaimed Center for BrainHealth, which is part of UTD’s School of Human Development. The check will be presented at a reception Monday night at the home of Darlene and Baron Cass.

Dee Wyly serves on the Leadership Council of the Center for Brain Health, which is one of the few facilities of its kind in the United States. U.T. Dallas has made a major commitment to research and training in the area of cognitive neuroscience. As a result of that commitment, the Center for BrainHealth was created in early 1999 to bring together researchers and clinicians to integrate cutting-edge brain research with clinical interventions and provide innovative programs and treatment for individuals with brain injuries, progressive brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and natural aging. The center currently is in the midst of a $6.2-million fundraising campaign, which was kicked off at a reception Feb. 11 at the Wylys’ home. The campaign will run through 2004.

UTD neuroscientist Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, director of the center, said the Wyly gift is the largest private gift the center has received to date. She said the goal of the campaign is to serve more individuals afflicted with brain injury or brain disease and to build a clinical and research facility that can house all of the center’s programs. The center currently is located at UTD’s Callier Center for Communication Disorders near downtown Dallas.

“The Center for BrainHealth is doing outstanding work that may lead to important breakthroughs in treating brain injuries and diseases,” Dee and Charles Wyly said in a joint statement. “We are pleased to be able to do our part on behalf of a great cause.”

UTD President Dr. Franklyn Jenifer said he was “deeply appreciative and honored” by the Wylys’ gift.

“Charles and Dee Wyly are both such giving people, and I can’t thank them enough for this very tangible demonstration of their generosity,” Jenifer said. “We are very proud of the work being done at the Center for BrainHealth, and we are delighted that two of Dallas’ greatest benefactors have decided to support it.”

Dee and Charles Wyly have been involved in a wide range of philanthropic endeavors and have contributed to such causes as social services, churches, schools and universities, cultural activities and health care institutions. In addition to serving on the center’s Leadership Council, Dee Wyly is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. She also serves as a board member of Kidney Tex., Inc., Kick Drugs Out of America and Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado. Charles J. Wyly Jr. is chairman of the Communities Foundation of Texas. He co-founded and is chairman of Michael’s Stores, Inc.

The Center for BrainHealth is on Inwood Road in Dallas, adjacent to major medical facilities such as The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, St. Paul Hospital and Parkland Hospital. The center integrates research, treatment, academic training and community outreach. Through this innovative approach, the center is discovering commonalities across brain maladies that are yielding similarities in brain repair mechanisms resulting in new treatments for improving life for patients with brain injuries and diseases.

For more information about the Center for BrainHealth or the fundraising campaign, please call 214-905-3007.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].