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Thursday June 1st

Alumnus’ $10 million donation to be split between Ackland Art Museum, School of Medicine

	<p>Holden Thorp shakes hands with <span class="caps">UNC</span> alumna Dr. Hugh A. McAllister Jr. who donated $10 million to <span class="caps">UNC</span> for the Ackland Art Museum  and the School of Medicine.</p>
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Holden Thorp shakes hands with UNC alumna Dr. Hugh A. McAllister Jr. who donated $10 million to UNC for the Ackland Art Museum and the School of Medicine.

With a $10 million donation to the University made official Thursday, Dr. Hugh A. McAllister Jr. provided not only a boost to two campus institutions, but a timely example for future donors.

McAllister, a UNC alumnus who also established the UNC McAllister Heart Institute, made a $10 million commitment that will be divided between the Ackland Art Museum and the School of Medicine.

His collection of artwork, valued at $5.5 million, marks the largest art gift to the museum in its history, said Chancellor Holden Thorp at the ceremony Thursday.

“I had two options. I could give it to a museum, where strangers could see it,” McAllister said. “Or I could give it to a University, where students could grow and learn from it. So I picked the University I love.

“I’m a pathologist and I make a living looking at images,” he said. “That’s what this is.”

His gift includes nearly 50 works of art.

“It’s a transformative gift,” said Emily Kass, director of the Ackland. “It broadens and transforms our collection of American art.”

An additional $2.5 million of McAllister’s art will be sold to expand an endowment that supports the McAllister Heart Institute and cardiovascular medicine research.

“When I first came to Chapel Hill, young doctors said, ‘Look what we’re doing here, come be a part of it,’” McAllister said. “That was in 1966, and they’re still doing that.”

He also committed an additional $2 million to support the institute.
Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of the School of Medicine, said the donation will further researchers’ efforts.

“It’s a huge gift to the medical school that will dramatically enhance the abilities to work in cardiovascular medicine,” he said.
Wade Hargrove, chairman of the UNC Board of Trustees, said the donor’s generous gift should be an inspiration.

“We should be constantly reminding alumni of the importance of public stewardship to the University that made it possible for them to have their careers,” he said.

“Dr. McAllister credits so much of his success to training he received here at UNC, and it is fortunate that he is willing to give back in such a constructive way.”

Thorp said that although this wasn’t a direct effort of the University’s upcoming fundraising campaign, commitments like McAllister’s will be important to making the campaign the largest ever.

“It’s going to take a lot of $10 million gifts to complete our fundraising campaign,” Thorp said.

In a period of scarce public resources, Hargrove said, the donation will benefit both the Ackland and the institute.

McAllister’s gift brings his historic donation to more than $18 million.

“Once you come here for four years — you bleed Carolina blue,” he said.

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