Abilene Christian University has received $55 million from three donors – including the largest gift in university history – to begin a series of construction projects that will transform the campus in a way not seen for nearly 50 years.
Kathy and David D. Halbert of Colleyville, Texas, represent a four-generation family with deep ties to Abilene Christian. David’s grandfather was Dean Walling , visionary founding director of the National Development Council during the Design for Development campaigns that built Moody Coliseum, McGlothlin Campus Center, Brown Library, Don H. Morris Center and Walling Lecture Hall, among other iconic buildings on the campus. David’s mother was the late Jo Ann (Walling ’54) Halbert, namesake of ACU’s Halbert Institute for Missions, and his father, David Halbert, M.D. (’54) , is an Abilene physician.
Kathy and David Halbert co-founded the Caris Foundation in 2002 to provide medical services to impoverished areas of the world. It funds relief efforts in Haiti, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, Indonesia, the Philippines and China, with a focus on preventing and treating pediatric HIV and other life-threatening diseases.
David Halbert was founder of AdvancePCS, one of the country’s largest pharmacy-benefits management companies before he sold it in 2004. Currently, he serves as chair and CEO of Caris Life Sciences. Kathy is deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of the Caris Foundation. All three of the Halberts’ children attended ACU.
The Halberts’ $15 million gift, made through the Caris Foundation, will fund the Halbert-Walling Research Center, whose name honors the late Dean and Thelma Walling. The gift is the third-largest in the university’s history. It will help fund Wildcat Stadium and the Onstead Science Center, as well as various initiatives in the College of Business Administration.