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Trustee Emerti Dennis Pawley adds the School of Medicine as a giving priority

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Trustee Emerti Dennis Pawley adds the School of Medicine as a giving priority


     Dennis, SEHS '82 and Carlotta Pawley
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. Dennis Pawley, SEHS ‘82, began his affiliation with OU as a student in the School of Education and Human Services. Since graduating and carving out a successful career that saw him rise to executive president of 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’s 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 will also enhance Oakland University’s brand and reputation as a national university,” he says. “I hope this gift will support the growth of not only the medical school, but the university in general.”

It is difficult to represent the full extent of the Pawley family’s contributions to OU. In 2004, the Pawleys made a $4 million bequest to the School of Education and Human Services Building, which now holds their name. Two years earlier, they funded a $1 million endowment to establish the Pawley Lean Learning Institute on Oakland’s campus, where Pawley himself served as an instructor. The Pawleys have made other considerable gifts to the School of Education and Human Services, the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the OU Foundation. On top of these personal contributions, Pawley was instrumental in securing a $1 million gift from the Chrysler Corporation for the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The Pawley’s latest gift will go a long way in ensuring that the state’s first new medical school in four decades evolves as an innovative, rigorous and community-minded institution.