University of Texas Medical Branch names school for 19th-century Galveston magnate John Sealy

Plastic surgery residents Dr. Kristi L. Hustak, and Dr. Surjit S. Rai check a patient's skin graft with Faculty Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Bauer at UTMB's John Sealy Hospital in Galveston on Aug. 19, 2013. (Michael Stravato For The Texas Tribune, Michael Stravato For The Texas Tribune)

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The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on Thursday named its school of medicine after entrepreneur and philanthropist John Sealy for the more than $1 billion in contributions his family has made for the past century.

The John Sealy School of Medicine commemorates the Sealy family and the Sealy & Smith Foundation, which has supported the university and the city of Galveston since since its formation in 1922.

UTMB, founded in 1881, is the state’s oldest medical school. Nearly all of UTMB’s Galveston campus was built from grants from the Sealy & Smith Foundation. The foundation has also contributed to UTMB’s hospitals and the Galveston National Laboratory.

“The school decided it was the right time to rename the medical school,” said Christopher Gonzalez, UTMB’s director of media relations.

The university already has several buildings and hospitals named after members of the Sealy family, such as the Sealy Institute for Drug Discovery and the Jennie Sealy Hospital, which were also funded in large part by the foundation.

Disclosure: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribunes journalism. Find a complete list of them here.