The H. A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowment was established through a generous gift of $22.5 million to the University of Utah through the estate of Arthur E. Benning. The gift is in honor of Mr. Benning’s parents H. A. and Edna Benning. The endowment allows the university’s medical school to recruit and retain top researchers and clinicians in a variety of fields.
Mr. Benning’s decision to leave his estate to the University of Utah came, in part, after he remembered the care a colleague’s daughter had received at the University of Utah Hospital. In 1969, Allan Lipman, a co-worker and friend of the Benning’s thought his 3-year-old daughter, Tracy, was going to die. Doctors at the University of Utah discovered she was suffering from a rare and often fatal blood disorder called dermatomyositis. Benning, who had no children, told Lipman to take all the time off work that he needed to care for his ailing daughter.
Ten years later, Mr. Benning was in the process of re-evaluating the selection of organizations and causes that could benefit from his estate. Mr. Lipman explained that the University of Utah had a great medical school. “Art remembered my family’s great experience when the hospital saved our little 3-year-old-daughter during my first year of employment with Amalgamated,” said Mr. Lipman.
"I know that Art would be very proud to know that the fruits of his labor will support the important work of talented physicians and scientists here in Utah, both now, and into the future," said Mr. Lipman.
The magnitude of this gift is remarkable. This funding will have lasting effects on the quality of our faculty and our national reputation,
said Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., former senior vice president for health sciences and former executive dean of the University’s School of Medicine.