Oct 03, 2019 11:00 AM

When Jon and Karen Huntsman made the first $10 million gift to establish a cancer institute at the University of Utah in 1995, the gift did not mark the beginning of their philanthropic efforts. Long before, they were committing resources—sometimes beyond their means—to support those who needed an extra lift. Through all of those years, Karen stood by Jon’s side with unwavering support. She was the unsung hero as he decided to make the eradication of cancer his life’s philanthropic work.

After the passing of Mr. Huntsman in February 2018, and to honor Karen’s steadfast support for her husband’s vision to create a world-class cancer institute in Utah, Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) began a campaign to fund the Karen Haight Huntsman Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. In less than 12 weeks, $1.5 million was secured, due to the continued support of our amazing donors. On September 20, at the 2018 Huntsman Cancer Foundation Gala, the newly created endowed chair was announced.

huntsman cancer foundation gala
This past month, Sheri Holmen, PhD, HCI cancer researcher and cancer survivor, was named the inaugural holder of the chair. Dr. Holmen has made pioneering contributions to advance our understanding of both melanoma and brain cancer. HCF congratulates Dr. Holmen on receiving this endowment as she is an integral member of our community and a key contributor to HCI’s core culture of the patient first, united effort, and excellence in all we do.
sheri holmen phd

Through times of adversity and times of triumph, Karen Huntsman was by her husband’s side and remains committed to supporting this work today. Thank you to the individuals and organizations listed below for stepping up in such a profound way to honor her.

Moonyeen and Richard Anderson
Ashton Family Foundation
Bastian Family Foundation
Mary Beckerle, PhD, and David Murrell IV
The Boyer Company
Capital Impact Foundation (HGGC)
The Estate of Kenneth Williams
Cecelia H. Foxley
Carolyn and Kem Gardner
Sharon and Randy Harmsen
Kathryn and Ellis Ivory
Jacobsen Construction
Marriott Daughters Foundation
The Mitchell and June Morris Foundation
Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation
Pinnacle Entertainment
Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, Inc.
Shridevi and Purna R. Saggurti
Susan Sheehan and Richard Schwermer
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Vinson & Elkins LLP
VLCM Foundation


Cancer touches all of us.

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