National Philanthropy Day honors Baylor friends and family

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Houston Chapter recognized a Baylor student group and three remarkable donors to the College during its National Philanthropy Day luncheon and awards ceremony Thursday.

From left, Susan Coulter, Dr. Paul Klotman, Dr. Alicia Monroe, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Dr. James Lomax, Dr. Vandana Shah, John Damonti and Judy Howell

From left, Susan Coulter, Dr. Paul Klotman, Dr. Alicia Monroe, Lester Smith, Sue Smith, Dr. James Lomax, Dr. Vandana Shah, John Damonti and Judy Howell

Dr. Vandana Shah, Dr. Alicia Monroe and Dr. James Lomax accepted the Outstanding Community Service Organization Award on behalf of Baylor’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The medical student and resident group was lauded for its advocacy for compassionate care through service projects focused on underserved patients, veterans, and families of critically ill children.

Baylor Trustee Lester Smith and his wife, Sue, received the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy for the time, talents and treasures they have shared with Houston-area nonprofits. The Smiths have dedicated more than $100 million in support of adult and pediatric cancer research, including more than $40 million to Baylor. They will be honorary chairs of The Magic of Motown spring soirée benefiting the Lung Institute at the College. Coincidentally, Lester and Sue Smith were slated to accept the Ben Taub Humanitarian Award at Harris Health’s Jubilee of Caring Thursday evening.

The Houston Business Journal Outstanding Large Corporation Award went to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for its contributions to global health. Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has invested nearly $60 million in the Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative. The foundation’s president John Damonti traveled to Houston for the honor and met with faculty leaders.

The Cullen Trust for Health Care won the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation Award. A longtime donor to Baylor, the Trust most recently helped fund construction, clinical expansion and recruitment activities at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Lee and Joe Jamail Specialty Care Center on the McNair Campus. Cullen Geiselman, chair of the foundation and great-granddaughter of Hugh Roy Cullen of Cullen Building fame, accepted the award.

“Houston is a generous city and as such, its National Philanthropy Day awards are highly competitive and coveted,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine, who attended the event with the honorees and College volunteers Megan Hotze and Betty Hrncir.

“I am proud that Baylor’s trainees, volunteers and donors are so well represented among this year’s winners. Thank you and congratulations to you all.”


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