Olson family donates $1 million to Arizona Cancer Center

January 26, 2005

Arizona head men's basketball coach Lute Olson announced Monday that he and his family will be making a $1 million gift to the Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona.

The gift from the entire Olson family will benefit the Bobbi Olson Endowment for Ovarian Cancer Research. The endowment was established in the name of Olson's first wife, Bobbi, who succumbed to ovarian cancer on Jan. 1, 2001, following a two-and-a-half year battle, and is designed to support research for the prevention and cure of ovarian cancer.

"This gift is something the family has been planning for some time," said Olson. "We feel it's so important that Bobbi's legacy stay alive and that we continue to support her dream of finding a cure for this cancer."

The Bobbi Olson Endowment will be a perpetual source of funding in seeking a cure for ovarian cancer. The sustained resources provided through this endowment will ensure the pursuit of promising new leads in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease and attract the basic science and clinical strength in ovarian cancer research to pursue these discoveries.

"This extremely generous gift from Coach Lute Olson and the entire Olson family toward the Bobbi Olson Endowment will have a tremendously positive effect on our efforts to cure and prevent ovarian cancer," said Dr. David S. Alberts, director of the Arizona Cancer Center. "As Bobbi Olson's physician, I am extremely gratified that her memory will lead to the cure of this terrible disease."

"As director of the Division of Women's Cancers at the Arizona Cancer Center, I am most grateful to the Olson family for this generous donation," said Dr. Setsuko K. Chambers.

"I am firmly committed to developing this new clinical and research division. This gift is an important first step in helping realize our shared vision."

A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Olson is in his 32nd season as a college head coach and his 22nd at Arizona. Olson has a career record of 726-252 (.742) and has led his teams to one national championship (1997), five Final Four appearances (1980, 1988, 1994, 1997, 2001), 11 conference championships and 25 NCAA Tournament appearances.
-end-
Information about the Bobbi Olson Endowment and the Arizona Cancer Center is available on the internet at http://azcc.arizona.edu. For additional information, please contact Donna Breckenridge, chief communications officer, at 520-626-2277 or dbreckenridge@azcc.arizona.edu.

University of Arizona

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