Board member Ali Saberioon (right) serves as chair-elect of the University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors (BOV) and will take the reins from Nancy Loeffler (center) in two years. Ernest Cockrell (left), immediate past chair, passed the role to Loeffler in September 2009. The BOV is an appointed board of volunteers that assists the president and other institutional leaders in an advisory capacity. The board furthers M. D. Anderson’s mission through fundraising, community involvement and providing counsel on many issues that impact the institution.
Transformation at the top
This year, as M. D. Anderson welcomes its 23rd chair of the Board of Visitors, it celebrates a milestone. For the first time since the board was established in 1955, a woman will serve as chair. An active member of the board since 1996, Nancy Loeffler from San Antonio has served on committees and hosted events. Although she’ll serve as chair for two years, the responsibility involves a six-year commitment — first serving as chair-elect, chair, then immediate past chair. Her duties include organizing the board’s annual meeting, creating reports and making recommendations to the board, participating as a member of the board’s Strategic Advisory Committee, appointing chairs to board committees and presiding over all meetings.
Hot topic in Dallas
With energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens and journalist Evan Smith engaged in a lively onstage interview, the 2008 A Conversation With a Living LegendSM at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas was the talk of the town. Approximately 1,000 guests gathered for the record-breaking event, which generated $1 million for research and patient care initiatives at M. D. Anderson, and brought total proceeds since its 1990 inception to more than $8 million. The luncheon-interview format originated by Dallas- and Fort Worth-area business and community leaders has in recent years inspired a Houston version, which in 2008 paired political commentators Mary Matalin and James Carville with broadcast journalist Sam Donaldson.
Exceptional ingenuity meets presidential passion
For the past decade, the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research has provided dozens of scientists philanthropic fuel to power their creative ideas. The resulting data enables them to successfully compete for federal funding and produce important results. In 1999, the Bush Endowment was launched with a gala, Milestones & Miracles, that celebrated the birthdays of George and Barbara Bush. Five years later, current Board of Visitors member Sue Timken and her husband, Tim, co-chaired 41@80, an event that enabled the Bush Endowment to surpass its goal of $50 million. In tribute to the Bushes, M. D. Anderson named the Robin Bush Child and Adolescent Clinic in memory of the daughter they lost to leukemia at age 3.