Dallas, TX

Dallas billionaire giving away her fortune receives prestigious award

Ash Jurberg

In 2011, Dallas billionaire Lyda Hill pledged to give away most of her billion-dollar fortune. It's a pledge she is doing her best to keep, and her generosity has been recognized this week.

Hill was one of five distinguished philanthropists awarded the 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy; country music legend Dolly Parton was also on the list.

The Carnegie Medal celebrates outstanding philanthropic leadership and the values modeled by Andrew Carnegie and is awarded to philanthropists in the United States and Europe.

Hill was recognized "for investments in the life sciences, including cancer and mental health research and treatment; conservation; supporting women in STEM fields and inspiring girls to be interested in STEM careers, and empowering community-based nonprofits to maximize impact."

Let's take a quick look at some of her philanthropy.

The Dallas philanthropist

Hill established Lyda Hill Philanthropies, which "is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations and improving the Texas and Colorado communities."

"I devote nearly all of my time to philanthropy. This third stage of my professional life is dedicated to supporting game-changing advances in science and nature, and to improving the local communities of greatest importance to me, Dallas and Colorado Springs."

In 2011, Hill signed the Giving Pledge in which she promised to give away most of her fortune while she was still alive.

I decided long ago that I'm not looking for Band-Aids or incremental change. I'm looking for solutions. I want to invest in transformational initiatives that have the potential to impact global issues like food safety, ocean conservation, medical research, and related efforts.

And Hill seems to enjoy her charitable efforts. The Dallas Morning News once described her as "having a blast giving away big chunks of her fortune."

Some of her contributions include:

  • Founding the Oklahoma Breast Care Center
  • a $50 million grant to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Moon Shots Program, which aims to combat and eliminate cancer
  • a $25 million grant to the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center
  • a $20 million grant to her alma mater, The Hockaday School, to fund a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program
  • a $10 million grant to the UTSW Medical Center for various initiatives, including an Endowment for Systems Biology
  • $110 million in Dallas-based Remeditex Ventures, a venture capital fund that focuses on getting early biomedical research
  • assisting in the funding of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • assisting in the funding of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas
"My goal is to have that last check bounce on my way out. I’ve got it charted out to 110.”

The award given to Lyda Hill highlights to those outside Dallas the giving spirit and charity of this great woman.

Readers, what do you think of Hill's philanthropy? What other organizations in Dallas would you like to see her support?

Please leave your comments below.

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