Few local economies in the United States have been as distinctly benefited by philanthropy as Galveston County, wrote Harris L. “Shrub” Kempner Jr. in this guest column. The Sealy family has donated to UTMB for over 100 years, giving more than $69,000 to fully fund the construction of the initial John Sealy Hospital in 1890. The Sealy and Smith Foundation, which has been in existence since 1926, has a charter directing its entire resources toward the medical branch - its hospitals, its professorships and its other buildings. Since its inception, the foundation has given approximately $600 million for building and rebuilding UTMB, and another $100 million is forthcoming as part of a new hospital in the next several years. UTMB is, by a factor of five, the largest individual employer in Galveston and employs more people at higher average salaries than the entire tourist industry.