A longtime friend of UT Southwestern, Shirley Pollock bequeathed $1 million to Southwestern Medical Foundation to further support research into cancer of the intestinal tract.
The gift will be added to the Lawrence S. Pollock Jr. Center for Intestinal Cancer Research, which was established in 2001 with a $1 million gift from the Pollock Foundation.
Mrs. Pollock's husband, Dallas business and civic leader Lawrence Pollock Jr., was chairman of the board of Pollock Investments and head of Pollock Paper, a company his father founded nearly 90 years ago. Mr. Pollock died of cancer in 2000. Mrs. Pollock died in 2008.
"Shirley Pollock was a very bright, forthright woman, and clearly the matriarch of her family," said Dr. Eugene Frenkel, professor of internal medicine and radiology, and friend and medical advisor to Mrs. Pollock. "She combined social skills with significant financial savvy. Family members with inflammatory bowel disease led her to explore the sequel of these problems, and that eventually expanded into an interest in gastrointestinal cancer. She felt that these diseases did not get the recognition they deserved, saying they were 'far too unglamorous to discuss.'
"She wanted her efforts (and finances) to have a positive impact and wanted action and results from her participation and interests. She pressed me to stimulate our respective teams in gastroenterology and oncology to move with crisp focus and speed. All was done with charm and wit, but with a background of serious intent."
Dr. Frenkel started UT Southwestern's first division of hematology/oncology and served as its chief for 30 years. He holds the Elaine Dewey Sammons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, the Raymond D. and Patsy R. Nasher Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, and the A. Kenneth Pye Professorship in Cancer Research, all established in his honor.
Mrs. Pollock's philanthropic ventures extended to a wide variety of civic organizations, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Visiting Nurse Association, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University and Planned Parenthood. She was a longtime trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation.
Through the years the Pollocks and the Pollock Foundation have given more than $3 million to aid programs at UT Southwestern. In addition to the Center for Intestinal Cancer Research, the foundation established the Pollock Family Center for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease with a $1 million donation in 2000. In 2008 Mrs. Pollock created the Shirley P. Pollock Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Medical Foundation with a $50,000 gift.