Center for BrainHealth Award Honors Pickens

Dallas Mayor Leppert Pays Tribute to Legendary Investor at 3rd Legacy Dinner

Nov. 11, 2009

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert recently presented the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award to T. Boone Pickens, recognizing the legendary energy investor’s generosity and foresight in his support of the center’s brain health research.

The center’s third Legacy Award dinner was Oct. 29 at the Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Dallas.

Pickens, a longtime champion of the center’s cutting-edge brain research and unique intervention programs, has supported BrainHealth’s goal to expand brain health to all. His funding was especially crucial in 2007 when the Center for BrainHealth was raising money for its expansion to its 63,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on Mockingbird Lane.

Pickens’ leadership made possible the center’s T. Boone Pickens Virtual Learning Center, a laboratory incorporating up-to-the-minute computer technology to help treat patients with a variety of brain disorders, including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, traumatic brain injury and others.

“What an amazing man,” said Dr. Sandi Chapman, professor, founder, and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth. “He’s a futurist, a visionary.”

She thanked the acclaimed business leader, noted philanthropist and best-selling author for striving to put Dallas at the center of the world’s brain health map, concluding that the Center for BrainHealth Legacy Award was truly deserving for a man with Pickens’ brain and heart.

Mayor Leppert congratulated the Center for BrainHealth for its world-class research as he introduced Pickens at the ceremony. Describing Pickens as  a pioneer,  the mayor said, “A great leader is one who plants seeds that will grow into things he will never see. Boone Pickens is a great leader.”

Pickens told the 200 assembled guests that Dr. Chapman is “a true founder in every sense of the word,” adding that he knew “a thing or two about what makes a great founder and a great leader.”

 “My philanthropy and generosity is an investment in a vision and in the leadership here,” Pickens said of the center and of the city of Dallas, his home for 20 years. “My goal is to redefine retirement in America, and brain health is a key element of that equation. Working together, we can improve the quality of life and productivity of new generations of Americans.”

Pickens has been interested in brain health since his mother’s death from a brain tumor three decades ago. He made his fortune in the energy business and is a high-profile proponent of America’s development of wind power and other alternative forms of energy that he says are needed to wean the nation from its dependence on foreign oil.

BrainHealth Advisory Board member Debbie Snell, who served as this year’s Legacy Dinner Chair, kept Pickens’ energy concerns in mind when she set out to create an  atmosphere for the event. The ballroom was decorated with windswept calla lilies and projections of wind turbines atop rolling green hills.

“Research at the Center for BrainHealth would be impossible without the renowned scientists who work there and the generosity and vision of supporters like T. Boone Pickens,” Snell said. “It was a privilege to oversee what turned out to be a spectacular evening honoring him. The Crescent ballroom – designed to illustrate the use of the Earth’s constant wind to power mankind’s energy needs in the future – perfectly dramatized Mr. Pickens’ vision for new sources of renewable energy and his determination to leave a cleaner, safer world for our children and theirs.”

The host committee for the event included Ebby Halliday Acers, Lana and Barry Andrews, Debbie and Jim Francis, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Jane and Bud Smith, Lee Ann and Alan White, and Debbie Snell as dinner chair. Major patrons for the event were Dianne Cash, Margaret Crow, Teresa and David Disiere, the Lyda Hill Foundation, Sarah and Alan Losinger, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Peter O’Donnell, Jr., Sandy and Tommy Rouse, Terry and Bob Rowling, and Dee and Charles Wyly.

Dianne Cash was the Center for BrainHealth’s first Legacy Award recipient in 2006, and Debbie Francis received the Center’s second Legacy Award in 2008.

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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Mr. and Mrs. Pickens and Dr. Sandi Chapman

Madeleine Pickens, Center for BrainHealth Legacy Award recipient T. Boone Pickens and Sandi Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth.


Mayor Tom Leppert, Laura Leppert and Debbie Snell

Mayor Tom Leppert, who presented the Center for BrainHealth Legacy Award to T. Boone Pickens, his wife, Laura, and Legacy Award Dinner Chair Debbie Snell.

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April 23, 2018