Big Give

UTHSA Cancer Center gifted $25 million from leading San Antonio philanthropists

UTHSA Cancer Center gifted $25M from leading local philanthropists

Mays Family UTSA cancer center
The newly renamed Mays Cancer Center was revealed on January 30. Courtesy photo

UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center is getting a big donation from a big name in San Antonio philanthropy. On January 30, the Mays Family Foundation announced a donation of $25 million to the medical center. Combined with a $5 million gift in 2015, this brings the family's overall gift to $30 million — and earns the Mays a prime spot on the wall. 

The news was announced during a ceremony on January 30. In honor of the foundation's multimillion-dollar legacy donation, the UT Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Texas system, agreed to officially rename the center the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. 

"The combined contributions from the Mays Family Foundation will provide a substantial endowment to perpetually support the director of the Mays Cancer Center and to establish up to 10 new permanent distinguished endowed chairs to support key faculty recruitment and retention," UT Health San Antonio said on its website.

An affiliate of MD Anderson and funded in part for the National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health), the Mays Cancer Center has served residents of San Antonio and South Texas for more than four decades. Due to both its cancer research and treatment, the newly renamed Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio has developed a reputation as one of the nation's premier cancer treatment clinics.

“Cancer has been aptly called the ‘emperor of all maladies,’ the disease which is the most difficult to diagnose accurately and treat with precision,” said Dr. William Henrich, president of UT Health San Antonio, during the ceremony. “Defeating its complexity requires leading-edge science, teamwork, perseverance, and courage, each in equal measure. It might be asked who benefits most from this exceptional Mays Family gift … Certainly the cancer center, UT Health San Antonio, and Texas all will see positives."

The Mays' $30 million gift is just part of the more than $50 million the San Antonio family has donated to cancer research. In addition to donations raised through the foundation, Peggy Mays also started the cancer center's annual fund, The Cabinet. Since its inception in 1996, The Cabinet has raised more than $8 million in additional funds for the center.