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Pawley family makes $738,000 estate gift to OUWB School of Medicine

Friday, August 12, 2011
Pawley family makes $738,000 estate gift to OUWB School of Medicine
Dennis and Carlotta Pawley, two of Oakland University's most earnest and dedicated supporters, have extended an already tremendous history of generosity with an estate gift of $738,000 to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

"This gift is truly remarkable, particularly when one considers how much the Pawleys have already done for Oakland," said University President Gary Russi.

"Needless to say, this latest example of their ongoing philanthropy will go a long way in helping us ensure that the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine evolves as an innovative, rigorous and community-minded medical school."

Dennis Pawley began his affiliation with OU as a student in the School of Education and Human Services. Since graduating and crafting a successful career that saw him rise to executive vice president for what was then the Chrysler Corporation, he has served on the Oakland University Foundation Board of Directors, as a member and chair of the university Board of Trustees, and as a co-chair of Innovation and Opportunity – The Campaign for OU.

Pawley was a member of the Board of Trustees at the time the university was in negotiations for the School of Medicine with Beaumont Health System. As such, he was heavily involved in setting up the structure of the new school.

"The medical school will not only help the state of Michigan with what's going to be a huge shortage of doctors, but also will enhance Oakland University's brand and reputation as a national university," he said. "I hope this gift will support the growth of not only the medical school, but the university in general."

For all of his valued and much appreciated service to the university, Dennis Pawley has been named as a recipient of the OU Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award and as a trustee emeritus.

In 2004, the Pawleys made a $4 million bequest to the university to name the School of Education and Human Services building. Two years earlier, they funded a $1 million endowment to establish the Pawley Lean Learning Institute on Oakland's campus. Pawley himself has served as an instructor at the Lean Institute.

Even these gifts do not represent the full extent of the family's contributions. In 1997, the Pawleys donated $2 million to support the School of Education and Human Services and the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Dennis also was instrumental in obtaining a $1 million gift from the Chrysler Corporation for the SECS, and the Pawleys have made a $100,000 charitable contribution to the OU Foundation.

As an unrestricted gift, the family's most recent contribution will be used to support the state's first new medical school in four decades. The OUWB School of Medicine began instruction for its inaugural class of 50 students on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011.