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Ward Buchanan’s planned gift was set in motion 60 years ago

U.Va. Receives $52.6 Million Bequest, Second Largest Gift In School’s History/ Unrestricted Endowment To Generate $2.5 Million A Year For Medical Center

April 5, 2002-- The University of Virginia has received the second largest gift in its history, University President John T. Casteen III announced today. The $52.6 million bequest from Ward Buchanan, a 1914 graduate of the University’s law school, will create an unrestricted endowment fund for the University Medical Center.

To be known as the Buchanan Fund, the endowment will be invested to generate income for the University’s hospitals and clinics. Initially it will produce approximately $2.5 million a year for the Medical Center, although that amount is expected to increase as the endowment’s assets grow.

The gift is the result of estate plans made more than 60 years ago by Buchanan, a retired Procter & Gamble executive who died in 1942. Buchanan stipulated in his will that a trust be created to provide income for his close and extended family and, after the death of his last surviving heir, to establish the Ward Buchanan Fund for "hospital purposes" at the University. After the recent death of Helen Hackwell, one of Buchanan’s cousins and the last income beneficiary of the trust, the University received the trust’s assets.

"This is a remarkable gift," Casteen said. "More than a half-century ago, an alumnus whom we did not have the privilege of knowing provided for his heirs in his estate plans. At the same time, and with exceptional foresight, he made the University the ultimate recipient of his legacy. From this thoughtful act, we now have a substantial and perpetual source of support for the advanced level of care that only an academic medical center can provide. We are grateful for Ward Buchanan’s generosity and for his commitment to the future of health care at the University."

R. Edward Howell, vice president and chief executive officer of the University Medical Center, noted that the gift comes at an opportune time for the Medical Center. Income from the Buchanan Fund, he said, will help the Medical Center advance new clinical and educational programs in ways not possible through traditional means of support.

"These are challenging times for academic medical centers, which hold the greatest promise for introducing new cures and treatments," Howell said. "Ward Buchanan’s gift will help our hospitals and clinics provide leadership in overcoming the ravages of disease, and it will help us work in partnership with the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing to promote the training of superb health care professionals. We cannot express too strongly how grateful we are to Ward Buchanan and the trustees and family members who stewarded this gift for the past 60 years."

Funded initially with Procter & Gamble stock, the trust grew as a result of investment strategies adopted by Buchanan’s heirs and the Cincinnati bank that managed the trust, PNC Bank, Ohio. The income beneficiaries allowed the trust to be invested primarily in stocks rather than bonds or other fixed-income securities. As a result, the principal of the trust appreciated substantially over time.

"Because the beneficiaries chose to invest aggressively in the equities markets, focusing more on growth than fixed income, the trust grew exponentially from the original stock gift, which was later diversified into other stocks by the trustee bank," said Alice Handy, president of the University of Virginia Investment Management Co., which manages the University’s endowment. "This proved to be a winning strategy for both the income beneficiaries and the University of Virginia."

Born in Wyoming, Ohio, in 1891, Buchanan was the son of one of Procter & Gamble’s earliest executives. After receiving his law degree from U.Va., Buchanan also joined Procter & Gamble and remained with the company off and on for the next 20 years.

Leaving the company in 1916 to serve in the Army as a field artillery officer and later as an instructor of heavy artillery, Buchanan returned to P&G in 1921 to manage the company’s Detroit office. Six years later he was named manager of its sales division. He eventually moved to England to become sales manager of the Thomas Headley Co., a P&G subsidiary. In 1940, he retired to Lewisburg, W.Va., where he died in 1942 at age 50. His wife, Gladys Carlyle Buchanan, died in 1953. They had no children.

"The Ward Buchanan trust illustrates, in the clearest possible way, the power of planned giving," said Robert D. Sweeney, the University’s senior vice president for development and public affairs. "It shows how a thoughtful donor, looking to the future, can make provisions for family and loved ones and at the same time make an extraordinary gift to the University."

The bequest is also another example of an alumnus from outside the medical area recognizing the need to support the University’s health care mission, Sweeney continued. "Like the recent gift from Darden School alumnus William H. Goodwin Jr. to accelerate clinical trials of promising cancer vaccines and the longtime support of College and Law School graduate David A. Harrison III for medical education and research, Ward Buchanan’s gift helps to keep the University at the forefront of medical care."

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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