To be paid in annual installments of $5 million, the gift to establish the school, which is scheduled to enroll its first class in 2016, brings the foundation's contributions to UT-Austin to more than $100 million. The foundation also pledged an additional $10 million over ten years to improve community health and access to clinics in Austin and Travis County.
The commitment is part of a $150 million investment by the foundation over the past decade to promote family and childhood health in Central Texas and establish Austin as a center for excellence in family health, an investment that includes $38 million to help underwrite the Dell Pediatric Research Institute. The medical school is expected to be built at the southern edge of the campus, near University Medical Center Brackenridge, the region's highest-level trauma center, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
The announcement of the gift comes three months after Travis County voters approved a property tax increase to generate $35 million a year for the medical school, which is projected to cost $233 million. According to the American-Statesman, capital and operating costs over twelve years are expected to total $4.1 billion, $1.9 billion of which would be shouldered by the Seton Healthcare Family system.
"No university could ask for better friends than Susan and Michael Dell, whose generosity has transformed the healthcare landscape," said UT-Austin president Bill Powers. "The Dells' support has allowed UT-Austin to conduct game-changing medical research and will now allow us to provide game-changing medical care."