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Dell Foundation pledges $50M toward UT medical school

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TWC News: Dell Foundation pledges $50M toward UT medical school
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The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will donate $50 million toward a new medical school at the University of Texas, along with $10 million dedicated to improving local healthcare.

The announcement came Wednesday at the foundation's headquarters.

UT's Board of Regents approved a medical school on campus last May. In November, Travis County voters passed Central Health Proposition 1, which raises property taxes to fund training for medical students. UT has agreed to fund the medical school itself, but the Dell Foundation's donation reduces a huge amount of its cost. According to a press release, the school will be named the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.

"In addition to improved health outcomes, the medical school is going to attract leading medical practitioners and researchers to the Austin area," Michael Dell said. "That's going to spur all sorts of medical technology innovations, which will be available on an early basis to our entire community, and will also, I think, drive a new wave of economic growth around the biotech industry in Austin."

The foundation has donated more than $100 million toward health care in Central Texas since 2003, including $32 million for the Dell Children's Medical Center in East Austin.

Michael Dell hopes this grant will make Austin as synonymous with medical advances as it is for live music.

"We will be able to spur innovative technology investment and provide early local access to resulting medical breakthroughs," he said.

The computer magnate says it's the next step in evolving Austin's tech identity.

"We will also, I think, drive a new wave of economic growth around the biotech industry in Austin," Dell said.

Under the donation, $5 million a year would go to the Dell Medical school at UT, another $1 million will go to community health care services.

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