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UT Health Cancer Center Becomes Mays Cancer Center After $30M Donation

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
The new name of the cancer center was revealed Tuesday morning

University of Texas Health San Antonio is changing the name of its cancer center after the Mays Family Foundation committed to a multi-million dollar donation. The foundation has provided a total of $30 million over the last three years.

The Mays family donated $5 million in 2015, upping its giving with an additional $25 million on Tuesday. The money will be used to invest in new drug discovery, support educational training and patient care.

UT Health Science Center President William Henrich said it will also invest in more staff.

“It will help us in recruiting the best and brightest in terms of research and clinical talent to San Antonio,” he said.

It will also create the Mays Cancer Center Excellence Endowment to help create long-term stability and support for the center.



Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Peggy and Lowry Mays

San Antonio businessman Lowry Mays, his wife Peggy and two of their children are all cancer survivors who’ve been treated at the center. Mays says his family is devoted to cancer research.

“And it’s something that we just wanted to provide for the people in this area,” he said.

In 2005, the Mays family also donated $20 million dollars to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and a clinic was named after them, as well.

President of the Mays Family Foundation Kathryn Mays Johnson detailed her family’s fight with cancer, recalling times her parents were dealing with different types of cancer. Mays Johnson was 25 and planning her wedding. Her mother was being treated at the UT Health Cancer Center when it was known as the Cancer Therapy and Research Center.

“In between rounds of radiation, we kind of planned the wedding — even from that moment I was grateful she was here close. The next thing I remember my dad was being diagnosed with melanoma and he was heading to MD Anderson and hoping for that cure. Now he’s treated at both places,” she said.  “It really seems appropriate for us to be joining forces with these two institutions — UT and MD Anderson — as they collaborate and bring to our community a new level of cancer support and care.”

The new name of the Mays Cancer Center takes effect immediately.

Joey Palacios can be reached at joey@tpr.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules.


Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules