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Impact of the Greatest Generation

Gifts from Edward and Patricia Blythe put trust in future students

When Edward S. Blythe’s doctor advised against aggressive cancer treatment because of his age, the octogenarian respectfully disagreed. The onetime CPA and World War II veteran ran the numbers and decided he had one more fight left in him. After seeking a second opinion, specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center put him on an aggressive cancer-fighting regimen, pushing his disease into remission and giving him many more years.

“They fervently believed that the best hopes for the country’s continuing prosperity rested on us educating and producing first-rate people in medicine and other fields.”

Grateful for the leading-edge treatment and renewed lease on life, the retired Chief Financial Officer of Dallas’ Hawn Foundation and his wife, Patricia, made it a point to give back. Like many who support the Medical Center, they started with modest gifts. Over time, their generosity grew, and the couple eventually made a gift through their family’s trust to support scholarships at the institution.

The Blythes’ generosity to UT Southwestern was an extension of their passion for educating future generations of students, creating opportunities in medicine and other professions.

“One of the common themes of the Blythes’ philanthropy was education,” said Charles Evans, Executor of the Blythe Trust. “They fervently believed that the best hopes for the country’s continuing prosperity rested on us educating and producing first-rate people in medicine and other fields.”

Mr. Blythe lived to be 98 years old. After he and his wife died, the Blythes’ trust established the Edward S. and Patricia J. Blythe Scholarship for medical students at UT Southwestern.

“They believed their greatest gift back to UT Southwestern should be in the form of scholarships to educate our best and brightest to become the best in their fields as they provide the highest quality health care for our entire community,” Mr. Evans said.

Along with gifts from wills, gifts from trusts are among the most common ways to make a planned gift to UT Southwestern. The scholarship endowment created by the Blythes’ trust will be invested for the long-term benefit of UT Southwestern and used in perpetuity for medical student scholarships.

Patricia J. and Edward S. Blythe
Patricia J. and Edward S. Blythe

“There are few more powerful mechanisms to advance the core missions of UT Southwestern than student scholarships,” said Angela Mihalic, M.D., UT Southwestern’s Dean of Medical Students and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. “Scholarships provide an important and meaningful way to attract and recruit future physicians with a proven track record of excellence, leadership, and commitment to serving others.”

About 2 out of every 3 UT Southwestern medical students finance their graduate education with student loans. The average student loan debt at the institution is just over $124,000, far lower than the national average of $200,000. Scholarships and other financial assistance deserve much of the credit, providing opportunities for students who otherwise might not be able to pursue medical school and giving them greater economic mobility as they start their careers.

“We are incredibly grateful to Edward and Patricia for establishing this important endowment,” said Dr. Mihalic, who is also a Professor of Pediatrics. “By investing in students, they pave the path for those who may not have the resources or opportunity to develop into superb, well-trained physicians and thus care for countless patients in the future.”