Each of the four institutions will receive about $261 million worth of stock in LORD Corporation, a century-old privately held manufacturer that was founded in Erie, Pennsylvania, is now based in Cary, North Carolina, and was led by Thomas Lord until his death in 1989. Lord's estate plan created a holding company, Jura Corporation, that owned all the voting stock and most of the non-voting stock of the company, as well as four foundations that owned significant stakes in Jura: the Lord Foundation of California (USC); the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts (MIT); the Lord Foundation of North Carolina (Duke); and the Lord Foundation of Ohio (Cleveland Clinic). The corporation recently was purchased by Parker Hannifin Corp. for $3.675 billion, triggering the distribution of the proceeds to the four foundations. It is believed to be one of the largest allocations of its kind and represents the largest gifts ever to both the Cleveland Clinic and Duke.
Since the 1980s, the four Lord foundations have provided approximately $200 million to the four institutions in support of their education and research activities.
The gift to the Cleveland Clinic will support a $2 billion campaign aimed at helping physician-scientists translate their discoveries more quickly into new therapies for patients, as well as the integration of basic science, research, and clinical medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine. The additional endowment income generated by the gift for Duke University will be used to support a variety of strategic priorities, including financial aid for undergraduates, interim funding for a new Pratt School of Engineering building already under construction, and unrestricted support for programs and initiatives at the Pratt School.
While the board of the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts has yet to determine how it will distribute the proceeds of the sale to MIT, annual disbursements are expected to continue to fund the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, student fellowships in the PKG Center, Thomas Lord Undergraduate Scholarships, and the Thomas Lord Career Development Professorship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. And at USC, the Lord Foundation of California will use the proceeds to, among other things, continue funding a range of teaching and research initiatives, including the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, a social enterprise lab, the business competition program at the USC Marshall School of Business, and the Space Engineering Research Center in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
"Thomas Lord and his successors at LORD Corporation have pioneered a distinctive strategy for giving back to society," said MIT president L. Rafael Reif. "Their generosity to all four institutions is remarkable. And the value of the distribution is magnified because it comes with great flexibility, giving institutions the nimbleness to seize opportunities and address needs that can be hard to cover through traditional philanthropy. We are tremendously grateful."