Key BrainHealth Supporter Charles Wyly Mourned

Aug. 8, 2011

Charles Wyly

Charles Wyly was a Dallas business legend.

The University community is saddened by the death of Charles Wyly, whose support played a central role in establishing the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth neuroscience research institute.

Wyly, the legendary Dallas entrepreneur and investor, died Sunday after a traffic accident near Aspen, Colo., where he and his wife, Dee, owned a home.

“We were very saddened to hear the news of Charles’ passing,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel. “Charles and Dee Wyly have been good friends of UT Dallas, sharing both their time and their resources. He will be deeply missed.”

The Wylys provided critical support to BrainHealth in its early years. They established the Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair in the Center for BrainHealth. This contribution, made via the Communities Foundation of Texas, brought the University an equal amount in state matching funds through the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP.  TRIP is a program created by the Texas Legislature that offers matching funds for private gifts that encourage research productivity.

The Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair is currently held by Dr. Sandra Chapman, founder and chief director of Center for BrainHealth. 

Charles and Dee Wyly

Dee and Charles Wyly were early supporters of the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth.

“Charles’ early and magnanimous support of our research and his devotion to BrainHealth, education and the arts is unparalleled,” Chapman said. “His legacy will live on not only through his financial contributions but also through the individuals whose lives he touched.  Charles’ transformational gifts to the Center for BrainHealth are immeasurable and will forever be remembered.”

Dee Wyly will receive the center’s highest honor, the 2011 Legacy Award, this fall.

Wyly’s name is as familiar in philanthropy circles as it is in the world of entrepreneurship and investing. With his brother and business partner, Sam, he has controlled some of the most recognizable brands on the consumer landscape, including Bonanza and Ponderosa steakhouses, Green Mountain Energy and the nationwide Michaels Stores chain.

Wyly plowed his good fortune back into such high-profile local causes as the expansion of the Dallas Arts District, where the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre was built with his support. He also supported the Dallas Children’s Theatre and other nonprofits.


Media Contact: Shelly Kirkland, UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, (214) 905-3007, shelly.kirkland@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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