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Dells Pledge $50 Million to Build Austin Medical School

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Michael and Susan Dell
Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc., and his wife Susan Dell are seen in this May 15, 2006 photo. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation pledged $5 million a year for a decade to support the medical school, officials said. Photographer: Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP Photo

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Dell’s family foundation will provide $50 million for a medical school to be built in Austin, Texas, plus $10 million for health care in the city.

The new Dell Medical School will be a partnership that includes the University of Texas, hospital group Seton Healthcare Family and Travis County, which encompasses Austin. The university, whose flagship campus is in the state’s capital city, runs medical schools in Dallas, Galveston, Houston, San Antonio and Tyler.

Dell, who dropped out of the state school in 1984 to start computer maker Dell Inc., gave $38 million to help build a pediatric research center on the Austin campus in 2007, said Gary Susswein, a university spokesman. The Dell family foundation also provided $32 million for a children’s hospital in the city.

“It is the right investment for our family, our university and our community,” Dell said yesterday at a briefing to announce the latest gift. “The effects of the medical school will be felt well beyond the campus.”

The university plans to start building the facility this year and enroll students by 2016, said Austin campus President Bill Powers. Voters in the county approved raising taxes by 5 cents per $100 of assessed property value in November, partly to fund the new medical school’s operations.

Dell Buyout

Dell Inc., where Michael Dell is chairman and chief executive officer, is the focus of a plan by the entrepreneur to take it private and regain majority control. The deal would combine Michael Dell’s almost 16 percent stake with as much as $1 billion of his personal funds in a buyout led by Silver Lake Management LLC and Microsoft Corp., said people familiar with the matter. The company is based in suburban Round Rock and employs 14,000 in the Austin area, spokesman David Frink said.

Dell had a net worth estimated at more than $14 billion this week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation pledged $5 million a year for a decade to support the medical school, officials said during the briefing at the charitable organization’s Austin headquarters.

The foundation’s additional commitment of $10 million over a decade will go to support health quality and access programs in Travis County and Austin, according to a statement from the charitable organization.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Mildenberg in Austin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at

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