Laura and Tom Graves
When diagnosed with prostate cancer, Tom Graves experienced firsthand the life-saving quality of health care at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In gratitude for the care he has received, Tom and his wife Laura have named Southwestern Medical Foundation as the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
Tom learned about giving through life insurance when he was involved with the foundation of his parish church, which was working to build its endowment. Tom says that giving a life insurance policy to UT Southwestern enables him to leverage his available funds to make a much larger gift than would be possible otherwise.
"With most of my assets tied up elsewhere, this type of gift was very efficient for me," he said. "It is an excellent way to make a gift that will make a difference in the community."
The gift qualifies the couple to become members of the Heritage Society, a donor recognition group that honors those who have made planned gifts that benefit UT Southwestern. Tom hopes his gift will encourage others to give back to the Medical Center where he has received such excellent care. He said he has become acquainted with remarkable people at UT Southwestern over the years, and he felt most fortunate to be treated by Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of the department of urology at UT Southwestern.
"It is as unique a place as you will find anywhere," he said.
His relationship with UT Southwestern was further deepened when he became involved in raising funds through the Order of St. John to support physician training in Jerusalem. He worked with Dr. James McCulley, Chair of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, to create the Dallas Surgeons Fund, which supported travel for UT Southwestern fellows to work alongside doctors at the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. Here they taught more advanced techniques of eye care and treated patients with eye disorders. This relationship has been a mutually rewarding one for both patients and UT Southwestern fellows.
Tom recently became a member of the executive committee of the Chancellor's Council of the UT System, giving him a great platform to be an advocate for UT Southwestern. He is a community leader who is involved with many other organizations. Until recently he was the treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. He has also been a trustee of Gaston Episcopal Hospital Foundation, which has supported UT Southwestern with significant gifts over the years.