University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Historic Bequest Names Oncology Professorship at UCSF

By UCSF Philanthropy Insider | November 17, 2006

To his many friends and acquaintances, Dixon Heise epitomized the San Francisco gentleman: sharp in mind, witty yet gracious in manner. After his death last February at age 89, another aspect of his character was cast in sharp relief: his incredible generosity of spirit.

A longtime supporter of UCSF, Heise left a bequest of $14 million to the campus -- the largest in its history. The bequest will endow the E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professorship in Oncology, to be held by the director of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, a position currently occupied by Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS. This directorial professorship will be passed on to future Cancer Center directors, while income generated from the endowment will be used to further the Cancer Center,s mission of research, teaching, and patient care.

Born in 1916 to a prominent San Francisco family, Heise studied economics at UC Berkeley before establishing a career with his family,s paper company, Blake, Moffitt and Towne. He eventually retired as vice president. Heise also served as a Naval Air Corps officer during World War II and afterwards as an informal ambassador with the State Department.

(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

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