Cancer research

Sprint Foundation donates $1 million to KU Cancer Center

Ralph Reid, president and executive  director of the Sprint Foundation.
Ralph Reid, president and executive director of the Sprint Foundation.

A $1 million gift from the Sprint Foundation will create a new professorship in blood-related cancers at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

The Sprint Foundation hematology/oncology professor will lead a team of physician scientists in their cancer research and patient care.

“The Sprint Foundation is honored to partner with the University of Kansas Cancer Center as they approach this critical milestone,” said Ralph Reid, president and executive director of the Sprint Foundation. “Sprint and the Sprint Foundation are committed to seeing success throughout the Kansas City area in our communities and our people. This grant will help put the University of Kansas Cancer Center closer to receiving National Cancer Institute designation, which will significantly help our city attract new resources, funding and people.”

Roy Jensen, M.D., director of the cancer center, expressed his gratitude for the gift, which creates a five-year term professorship.

“Thanks to the support of the Sprint Foundation, we are closer to achieving our vision of applying for NCI designation,” said Jensen. “In supporting this initiative, private philanthropy is raising the bar in research and cancer-patient care for residents throughout the Kansas City area, the state and the region.”

Since 2009, donors have given more than $51 million for NCI designation through KU Endowment. Officials plan to raise an additional $9 million before September, the deadline for NCI application.

Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has supported community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.

The cancer center is a partnership that includes cancer research and healthcare professionals associated with the KU Medical Center and KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.; KU’s Lawrence campus; the KU School of Medicine-Wichita; and the members of the Midwest Cancer Alliance.

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

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