The University of Virginia in Charlottesville has received $52.6 million from an alumnus sixty years after his death to create an unrestricted endowment that will benefit the university's medical center and programs.
The bequest — the second largest gift in the university's history — will be used to establish the Buchanan Fund, which is expected to generate about $2.5 million annually for the school's hospitals, clinics, and educational programs. The bequest comes from a trust set up by Ward Buchanan, who graduated from the University of Virginia's law school in 1914 and went on to become an executive at consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. Buchanan, who had no children, stipulated in his will that a trust be established to provide income for members of his family and to fund hospital purposes at the university after the death of his last surviving heir. Helen Hackwell, who died late last year and was Buchanan's cousin, was the trust's last income beneficiary.
"This is a remarkable gift," said UV president John T. Casteen III. "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."