Cancer researcher with lab slide

Hall Family Foundation gives $18 million gift to KU Cancer Center

Don Hall
Don Hall

The Hall Family Foundation of Kansas City has committed $18 million to the University of Kansas Cancer Center and the Midwest Cancer Alliance, opening doors to innovative cancer treatment and research for the heartland region.

The gift will help the cancer center in its goal of achieving designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center from the National Cancer Institute. The Midwest Cancer Alliance links discoveries made in the lab at KU to a network of hospitals and health care organizations in Kansas and western Missouri.

This gift brings total private contributions for NCI designation to $37 million. The center’s goal is $92 million.

Kansas City deserves to be one of the 65 places where patients can receive the most advanced cancer treatment. Achieving NCI designation will bring prestige to the entire region as a center for advanced cancer research and treatment.

Of the $18 million gift, $12 million will help recruit world-class physician scientists and cancer researchers. Another $6 million will fund a Phase I Clinical Trials facility in Fairway, providing area patients access to promising clinical trials. The Hall Family Foundation purchased the facility in 2008 and is donating it to the cancer center.

Bill Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation, said NCI-designated centers offer clear advantages to patients.

“Kansas City deserves to be one of the 65 places where patients can receive the most advanced cancer treatment. Achieving NCI designation will bring prestige to the entire region as a center for advanced cancer research and treatment.”

Joe and Jean Brandmeyer, of El Paso, Texas, recently donated $10 million to support the cancer center. NCI centers are a major source of discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention. NCI designation would attract more federal grants, clinical trials and research programs.

“The Hall Family Foundation has been a tremendous supporter of education and research at KU, and this gift adds to that legacy,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “The foundation’s generosity will benefit cancer patients and their families throughout Kansas and the region by helping to bring new treatments and cures to their doorsteps."

Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center and chief executive officer of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, called the donation “a game-changing gift.”

“The foundation has positioned us to make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people,” Jensen said. “This gift provides needed resources to move forward with NCI designation, which not only will improve the lives of those in the region, but also will improve the health of our economy.”

The Hall Family Foundation has supported several disciplines at KU, including life sciences, business, biology and humanities. The Hall Center for the Humanities at KU was named for Joyce and Elizabeth Hall in 1985 in recognition of the foundation’s gifts for humanities professorships and program support. The foundation also has supported other life science programs in the region.

The gift will be managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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