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McNairs announce historic gift to Baylor College of Medicine


Bob and Janice McNair announce their generous donation to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Texans owner and community leader Bob McNair and his wife Janice announced Wednesday their $100 million gift to Houston's Baylor College of Medicine to recruit the premier scientists from around the world as McNair Scholars.

Mr. McNair, who has been a BCM Board of Trustee member since 1994, said he and his wife believed funding education and intellectual capital would provide the most meaningful impact in the arena of medicine.

"With intellectual capital, you can attract outstanding students to the medical school and you can attract capital for building programs if you have outstanding faculty," Mr. McNair said.

The McNair Scholarship will focus on attracting scholars specializing in breast cancer, diabetes, pancreatic cancer and neuroscience research. Mrs. McNair is a 15-year breast cancer survivor, and the couple felt particularly drawn to those four areas of medicine.

"We really hope this gift will lead to many discoveries," Mr. McNair said. "It will benefit not only our family, not only our friends, but everyone.

"Intellect is the engine. We just hope this will provide some additional impetus to move along discoveries."

The gift, which is equal to the largest in the college's history, inspired BCM President and CEO Dr. Peter Traber to rename the 35-acre hospital the McNair Campus of Baylor College of Medicine. Traber presented the McNairs with their own street sign, McNair Drive.

"I saw Bob and Janice McNair think very carefully about how to place a gift at Baylor College of Medicine," Traber said. "I found a quote that I think characterizes it from John D. Rockefeller. 'The best philanthropy is constantly in search for finalities - a search for cause, an attempt to cure the evils at their source.' This gift is about such a search."

The McNairs graciously accepted the words of praise and the customized street sign, saying it was their duty to give back to the community.

"We are responsible for being very efficient in what we do and managing these assets to the benefit of God and mankind," Mr. McNair said.

The Texans owner brought the audience to its feet when he thanked Houstonians for making his week extremely special and for supporting a currently undefeated Texans team.

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