Dick Stimson's Enduring Legacy

Photo of Richard "Dick" Stimson
Richard "Dick" Stimson

When Park Society member Richard "Dick" Stimson died last year, his frugality, foresight, and concern for others ensured that the resources he had built throughout his life would be used as he wished: to help others. His bequest—among the largest from an individual ever given to the U's Health Sciences—will create numerous Stimson Presidential Endowed Chairs, including two honoring his beloved parents, William H. and Edna D. Stimson. The endowments will support faculty, education, research, and patient care in the School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, and College of Pharmacy.

When he arrived at the U as a freshman in 1943, Dick enrolled in the Army Specialized Training Program—which promised to fund his pursuit of an engineering degree in return for military service. Shortly after transferring him to Stanford's engineering school, the Army canceled its specialized training program—sending the 19-year-old into the 100th Infantry Division foxholes of France. Private First Class Stimson sustained severe injuries in battle in the freezing conditions of France's Vosges Mountains. Awarded both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, he never complained about the lifelong effects from his wounds—knowing he was one of only four boys from his platoon to survive.

After the war, Dick returned to the U, graduated in 1949 with a degree in business marketing, and went on to successful careers in the insurance industry and sales and as an astute, independent investor. Once retired—with his parents deceased and no immediate family—Dick was encouraged by close friends to volunteer at University Hospital and the U's Health Sciences Center. Dick's legacy of giving and the infusion of such significant support from his gifts is a testament to his commitment, generosity, and care for the University of Utah.


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