A Legacy of Giving Back to the Community

Hamill Foundation gives $900,000 to campaign priorities


By Ann Saye

The Hamill Foundation has been an active and generous supporter of Texas Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years, with gifts and commitments totaling over $2 million. In Texas Children’s current Heal Sick Children campaign, the Hamill Foundation is the only donor to have made contributions to help build and develop each of the three priorities—the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, the new maternity facility and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus—with gifts totaling $900,000.

While some funders are hesitant to provide support for capital projects, representatives of the Hamill Foundation understand why it is so critical. “We know it’s not simply about buildings,” said Tom Brown, grants director. “It’s really about what those buildings will make possible for the patients and families served through Texas Children’s Hospital. That’s something we can all be proud of.”

The Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute will apply a bold new model of collaborative research to understand the unique issues of a child’s brain structure, developmental patterns and related diseases. The new maternal and newborn health facility will bring the hospital’s experts in fetal and newborn care together with obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists in one location. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, one of the nation’s largest suburban children’s hospitals, will serve children and families from Sugar Land to Katy to Bryan-College Station and westward.

The Hamill Foundation was established by Houston oilman Claud Hamill and his wife, Marie, in 1969. The two business and civic leaders were dedicated to giving back to the city they loved, and they channeled all their giving to the Houston community through their foundation. They also thoughtfully put into place a plan that would ensure that their legacy and philanthropy would continue after their deaths through the complete liquidation of their businesses and personal assets to fund the foundation.

Claud Hamill named his company’s four senior officers—Charles D. McMurrey, Charlie H. Read, Thomas H. Brown and Charles W. Snider—along with his attorney, William T. Miller, as directors of the foundation. These five individuals have dedicated themselves to honoring the founders by supporting causes they believe would have been near and dear to the hearts of the Hamills.

As a result of this level of dedication, the foundation received a prestigious award from the Greater Houston Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honoring the “Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation” for 2010 on National Philanthropy Day in November. It’s well-deserved recognition for the foundation’s generosity and support in the community.

“The Hamill Foundation’s grant-making approach is very focused,” said Brown. “We rarely make one-time grants; instead, we work to create and cultivate ongoing relationships with the groups we support.”

The foundation’s representatives are committed to meeting with each group at least once a year—no small task considering that this year, the Hamill Foundation will support 85 groups, with grants totaling more than $7 million.

“Texas Children’s is truly blessed to enjoy such an extraordinary partnership with the Hamill Foundation,” notes Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace. “Over the years, I have come to know the foundation’s directors not just as wonderful and generous donors to the hospital and to our community, but also as true friends and advisors—and that is a real gift.”

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