This year, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation will announce the 25th recipi- ent of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award.
Since 1989, the ACS has acknowledged individuals
who have distinguished themselves through their
exemplary investment in the mission of the College
and in philanthropy. Each recipient has contributed for different reasons, but each serves as a model
donor—supporting not only the contributor’s personal passion, but also acting in alignment with the ACS
values of promoting optimal patient care.
In 2010, the ACS Foundation Board of Directors
assumed the responsibility of identifying and selecting nominees with the oversight of its Management
Committee. (Prior to that time, the College’s Development Committee had collaborated with the ACS Honors Committee to recommend and select recipients.)
The criteria for nomination are as follows:
•A record of service to the College and the Foundation
•A leadership commitment to the practice of philanthropy
•A personal history of philanthropy to the College
•Service to the larger not-for-profit community
Notable award recipients
All past Distinguished Philanthropist Award recipients
from 1989 through 2014 are listed on page 18. The following individuals are highlighted for their unique
contributions to the ACS Foundation’s ongoing growth
Armand Hammer, MD
The first Distinguished Philanthropist Award was
presented to Armand Hammer, MD, the internation-
ally known entrepreneur who chaired the Occidental
Petroleum Corporation, Houston, TX, for more than
30 years. Dr. Hammer’s success in business allowed
him to pursue his lifelong interest in art and to build
a collection that became a major museum in Los
Angeles, CA, after his death in 1990.
Dr. Hammer graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New
York, NY, in 1921, but while waiting the six months
before beginning his internship, he took a life-changing trip to the former Soviet Union. His original plan was to help combat the typhus epidemic, but
instead he found the major health issue to be starvation. Dr. Hammer acted on this discovery by introducing the idea of trading American grain for furs
and other goods from the Soviet Union. A career in
business ensued, along with a commitment to help
strengthen Soviet-American relations.
Although some of his business, political, and
international interests and dealings provoked controversy, Dr. Hammer’s extraordinary philanthropy
financed research for a cancer cure. For many years,
he donated more than 90 percent of his income to
charitable causes. The ACS was one of those beneficiaries, and contributions from the Armand Hammer Foundation supported a traveling surgical scholarship in his honor.
Dr. and Mrs. Jacobson
In 1993, the Honors Committee of the College selected Julius H. Jacobson II, MD, FACS, to receive the
prestigious Distinguished Philanthropist Award. In
addition to their many philanthropic contributions
to educational and arts institutions, Dr. Jacobson and
his wife, Joan, are among the top donors to the ACS
Foundation and, therefore, members of the Fellows
Leadership Society’s Pinnacle Circle, with cumulative donations of greater than $1 million.
Dr. and Mrs. Jacobson’s best-known contributions
have led to the establishment of two annual ACS
awards—the Jacobson Innovation Award and the
Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson II Promising Investigator Award. In their 20th and 10th years, respectively,
each award honors surgical researchers. The Innova-
Opposite: Distinguished Philanthropist Award winners, from left to right.
Top row: Drs. Hammer, Conley, Clowes, and Beahrs. Second row: Dr. and
Mrs. Jacobson, Drs. Islami and Woods, and Dr. and Mrs. Clements. Third
row: Dr. Lincke, Dr. and Mrs. Leffall, Drs. Jordan and Satitpunwaycha.
Fourth row: Dr. and Mrs. Berry, Dr. Kridelbaugh; the Drs. Hanlon,
and Dr. Hobson. Fifth row: Dr. and Mrs. Jurkiewicz, Dr. Nora, Dr. and
Mrs. Reiling, and Dr. and Mrs. Kenyon. Sixth row: The Drs. Russell,
Dr. Brennan, Dr. Hanna, and Dr. and Mrs. Austen.