In the largest gift to Campaign USA by an employee, the director of the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute and his wife have made a $2 million bequest to launch an unrestricted research endowment for the Institute.
Dr. Michael R. Boyd, Abraham Mitchell chair and director of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, and his wife, Ginni, said their gift will initiate the development of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute Research Endowment Fund, aimed at improving cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, community outreach and public education.
USA President Gordon Moulton said the Boyds’ gift shows their commitment to the Institute and the University community.
“This gift is doubly meaningful because it supports an important cause, and it is coming from two people who have dedicated their lives – and in Mike’s case his career – to the study of treatment and prevention of cancer. It demonstrates that we are individually and collectively committed to the success of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute,” Moulton said. “Dr. Boyd’s leadership in this important cause has been an inspiration for all of us.”
Dr. Boyd said, “Our goal is to help ‘seed’ the initiation and growth of a major research endowment of true consequence for the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. The annual investment revenues from such an endowment could provide perpetual support for cutting-edge cancer research at USA that has the potential to yield major advancements in cancer health care.”
The Boyds’ bequest is part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign that seeks to raise $75 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction over three years. Campaign USA was launched in March 2006 and, to date, has raised $58.6 million.
To begin the endowment, the Boyds also made a $10,000 cash gift to the USAMCI, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the University for a total of $20,000.
“We are committed to helping in every way possible to grow, with the help of others, this USAMCI research endowment to achieve a goal of $100 million,” Ginni Boyd said.
Dr. Boyd said the couple wanted to use their estate gift to further the fundamental purpose of the USAMCI, support Campaign USA, and encourage others to give.
“The intended focus of our estate pledge is to support long-term growth of cancer research at the University of South Alabama that will contribute to major improvements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, community outreach and public education locally, regionally and nationally. Opportunities for major advancements in all of these areas have never been greater. However, paradoxically, federal support for cancer research is increasingly constrained by other competing priorities, and overall governmental funding is woefully inadequate,” he said. “Philanthropic and other non-governmental support for cancer research are increasingly critical to sustain and accelerate progress.”
Prior to joining the USAMCI in 2002, Dr. Boyd served as senior investigator and program director of the Molecular Targets Drug Discovery Program at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C. He was selected to lead the USAMCI following an extensive national search.
During his career at the NCI, Boyd introduced major innovations for anti-cancer and anti-HIV drug discovery research and development. Named director of the NCI Laboratory of Drug Discovery Research and Development in 1990, Boyd and his colleagues subsequently discovered a wide array of novel anti-HIV and anti-tumor drug development leads and candidates. His team’s discoveries are the basis of more than 130 U.S. and international patents and patents pending.
Boyd has 460 scientific publications to his credit. His research and public service have been recognized by numerous awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals, the Achievement Award of the Society of Toxicology, two Pfizer Awards in Pharmacology, the Lupiloff Award in Clinical Oncology, and others.
Boyd, a native of Cookeville, Tenn., earned his bachelor of science in chemistry at the University of Kentucky, and his M.D. and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and organic chemistry from Vanderbilt University. Before joining USA, he had been a National Institutes of Health-tenured Senior Investigator since 1977.
Ginni Boyd has served as a volunteer for the USA Center for Healthy Communities, which seeks to address health disparities among people in the region. She is active on a variety of volunteer boards across the community.
She also is a member of the Campaign USA Leadership team, which is comprised of local civic and business leaders, as well as national leaders.
“This is the largest gift to the research endowment of the USAMCI to date, and it is especially meaningful because it comes from Mike and Ginni Boyd, two of my most respected and valued colleagues,” said Dr. Joseph F. Busta, Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations at USA.
Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s track and soccer programs and a campus bell tower.
For information on Campaign USA, visit www.campaignusaleadership.com or call (251) 460-7032.
The University of South Alabama
Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 60,000 degrees.
In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.