El Paso native donates $1M to Texas Tech to strengthen its mission

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso native has donated $1 million to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso to “help to strengthen and grow the university and benefit a new generation of professionals committed to world-class health care,” according to a news release.

Here is what the university said about the gift:

“As a university built on philanthropy, Brown’s legacy gift allows TTUHSC El Paso to fulfill its commitment to providing a healthy future for our Borderplex region.

“Brown’s investment will go a long way toward relieving the region’s critical provider shortage. It will deliver vital support to aspiring medical professionals to advance their education, skills and research. Health care providers will be more likely to remain in the region, providing access to preventative and specialty care right here at home. In doing so, the gift will foster a self-renewing pipeline of qualified health care heroes committed to serving our community.”

Gene Wolf, an estate planning attorney with the El Paso law firm Kemp Smith and a member of the university’s President’s Development Council, served as one of the advisers who provided Brown with the idea for a legacy gift.

“John Brown grew up in El Paso and has always been passionate about making a tangible difference in his community,” Wolf said. “When we considered the critical health care needs of our Borderplex region and the role that Texas Tech Health El Paso plays in addressing those challenges, John knew that his gift would be a wise investment in his hometown. This legacy gift not only serves immediate community needs but also acts as a catalyst for systemic change, improving health care access and education for generations to come.”

Born in El Paso in 1949, Brown’s support for the Borderplex community and its institutions came naturally, according to the news release.

His father, John Swinton Brown Sr., owned an El Paso-based interstate plumbing and heating corporation that notably served as a contractor to the Manhattan Project during World War II. His father died in 1967. Brown’s mother, Grace Messenger, was an active participant in several El Paso philanthropic organizations, including the Woman’s Department of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Planned Parenthood, the ASPCA and the El Paso County Humane Society.

While Brown now resides in Arizona, his enduring connection to his hometown of El Paso remains unbroken, according to Texas Tech.

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