Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Auditorium

Holly auditorium

$1 million gift pays tribute to outstanding alumnus

Renovation under way on Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Auditorium

In 1968, the UT Health Science Center opened its doors to the first medical students in San Antonio. Since then, faculty members in the School of Medicine continue to uphold the proud tradition of educating the next generation of outstanding physicians. Every graduate is well prepared to succeed as a knowledgeable expert and caring and compassionate physician.

Among the more than 5,000 alumni of the M.D., residency and fellowship programs who are practicing medicine throughout the world, one in particular stands out. James L. Holly, M.D., of Beaumont, Texas, is a 1973 graduate and served as president of the school’s Alumni Association from 2006 to 2010 because, he says, of his love and appreciation for the educational experience he received. Dr. Holly credits his professors, mentors, classmates and colleagues for shaping the physician he is today.

Early in his career as a physician in private practice, Dr. Holly met Wayne A. Reaud, chairman and founder of the Beaumont Foundation of America. Reaud was so impressed by Dr. Holly’s expertise, care and devotion that he wanted to pay tribute to the physician in a special way. So he chose to make a gift to the UT Health Science Center in Dr. Holly’s honor.

Carolyn and James L. Holly, M.D.

This year, Reaud’s gift of $1 million will fund the renovation of one the university’s and the School of Medicine’s most cherished meeting places – the Health Science Center’s auditorium – and the naming of it in honor of Dr. Holly and his wife, Carolyn.

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, Health Science Center president, expressed his gratitude.

“I cannot thank Mr. Reaud enough for his generosity,” Dr. Henrich said. “And, I share his view that there is no couple more deserving than Larry and Carolyn Holly of the recognition of having their names honored in perpetuity on our auditorium for their contributions to medicine and to our university.” Dr. Henrich added that the honor is one of the most meaningful events in Dr. Holly’s professional life. “His love for his alma mater is profound, and Dr. Holly has served as a visionary and benevolent leader, contributing his own treasure to support the school in many areas.”

To date, Dr. and Mrs. Holly have given a total of $487,000 to support the missions of the School of Medicine. In 2010, Dr. Holly and fellow School of Medicine alumni initiated and led fundraising efforts to enhance students’ educational experience on campus. Dr. Holly’s $25,000 gift helped create a 1,500-square-foot student lounge dedicated for School of Medicine student activities. In addition, he, along with support from Southeast Texas Medical Associates (SETMA), contributed $250,000 to establish the Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Distinguished Professorship to support faculty who will lead and personify a model of patient-centered primary care and education through UT Medicine San Antonio, the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center. The professorship will promote interdepartmental and interdisciplinary education, collaboration and practice-model development between the departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Pediatrics and the School of Nursing advanced practice programs. Dr. Holly is a founding member of SETMA, an organization dedicated to providing quality and cost-effective health care to patients in Southeast Texas through multispecialty, patient-centered clinics. The Holly fund is fostering the patient “medical home” concept.

Dr. Holly noted Reaud’s generosity and its impact on the university.

“Wayne is a brilliant man, loyal friend and generous human being. I am overwhelmed by his kindness and humbled by this honor,” Dr. Holly said. “The privilege of being a physician impresses a debt of gratitude upon me, my wife, and my family, which can only be repaid by giving to the next generation of Health Science Center faculty, administrators and students. My mother is 94. I hope that just as she sat in an auditorium in 1973 to watch me receive my Doctor of Medicine degree, she will be able to sit in the newly refurbished Health Science Center auditorium to see this honor announced.”

A new center aisle.

The Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Auditorium renovation will include a new center aisle.

For more than 40 years, the Health Science Center auditorium has been the most prominent meeting place on campus, heavily used by all medical students and by the entire university community for commencement and white coat ceremonies, lectures, performances, symposiums and other activities. In 2010, approximately 44,000 students, faculty, alumni and community friends participated in more than 400 events hosted in the auditorium.

“With a 5 percent to 15 percent rollback in state funds under way at institutions of higher education across Texas, we have been unable to allocate financial resources toward much-needed repairs for the auditorium,” Dr. Henrich said. “Mr. Reaud’s gift will provide the necessary funds to transform the auditorium into a modern, well-equipped space with increased seating capacity and durability to last for decades.”

Renovation began this past summer with completion expected to occur in February 2012.

For information about leadership or giving opportunities in the School of Medicine, call Kim Warshauer at 210-567-0242 or visit MakeLivesBetter.uthscsa.edu/medicine.

The Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly Auditorium renovation will include:

  • Prominent new center entrance to auditorium
  • New center aisle
  • Comfortable new seating for 751 people
  • Larger tablet arms installed on seats to better accommodate students
  • Roof replacement and new ceiling installation
  • State-of-the-art audio/visual and electronics updates, including multimedia
    projection and presentation systems
  • Upgraded lighting
  • Implementation of all Texas Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements
  • Upgrades in all fire and safety code requirements


  • Gift from Wayne A. Reaud and the Beaumont Foundation of America – $1 million
  • Institutional matching contribution – $1.5 million
  • Presidential matching gift – $500,000
  • Total Project cost: $3.1 million


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