Endowed Chairs at Doheny Eye Institute

Endowed Chair Name

Year Chair Established

Chair Holder

A. Ray Irvine, Jr., MD, Endowed Chair in Clinical Ophthalmology

May 16, 2000

Flora L. Thornton Endowed Chair in Vision Research

June 22, 2000

Gavin S. Herbert Endowed Chair for Macular Degeneration

February 7, 2000

The Rupert and Gertrude I. Stieger Vision Research Endowed Chair

February 5, 1998

Mary D. Allen Chair in Vision Research

May 30, 1990

The Charles Stewart Warren and Hildegard Warren Endowed Research Chair

December 31, 1997

The Stephen J. Ryan – Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Endowed Presidential Chair

September 5, 2013

What is an endowed Chair?

It is the highest academic award that the organization can bestow on a faculty member. A Chair is created when an individual, group, foundation or corporation donates at least $2.5 million for the purpose of creating a chair. The fund principal remains intact and is invested, while income from the fund supports the faculty member selected as the occupant of the Chair. The Chair lasts in perpetuity as long as Doheny Eye Institute exists. Endowed Chairs enable Doheny Eye Institute to compete with major academic centers by offering exceptional faculty members positions of prestige and honor within the Institute. Thus, it is both an honor to the named holder of the appointment and also an enduring tribute to the donor or organization who establishes it.

The Benefits

To Doheny Eye Institute

Endowed faculty chairs are crucial for recruiting and retaining the highest-quality faculty. The greatest institutions have the best minds, the most-creative researchers and the most-engaged teachers. Building a mighty base of faculty talent enriches the academic environment, which attracts the brightest students for the most transformative impact.

To the Chairholder

Recognizing the continued contributions of senior-level faculty as well as providing funds to push the frontiers of their scholarship are key functions of the endowed positions. The funds can propel research and/or create opportunities for collaboration to advance discovery and innovation in vision research and/or patient care in their respective fields.

To Business and Corporations

In a rapidly changing world, corporations realize the pace is often driven by the private sector, but much of the long-term thinking, basic research and most fundamental discoveries occur inside an academic environment. Corporations support endowed chairs to give back to institutions that mirror their own mission and values and to inspire innovation and creative ideas in a competitive environment.

What benefits does the donor receive?

Endowed Chairs allow donors to create a legacy for himself or herself, or another individual or entity by naming the Chair in their honor.

Donors to endowed Chairs at Doheny are recognized in the following ways:

  • Significant achievements and discoveries by the Chair holder reflect the donor’s name or the name of the individual selected by the donor;
  • Faculty whose research is supported by an endowed Chair give appropriate credit in all publications resulting from their work;
  • Appointees use the title of their Chair in all official correspondence.
  • Donors are included as “Benefactors” (at the $2.5 million cumulative gift level) in perpetuity in all donor listings at Doheny Eye Institute.
  • Individual plaques recognizing the donor, name of the Chair, first Chair holder and the specific purpose of the Chair are prominently displayed in perpetuity at Doheny Eye Institute.

Investment Responsibility and Earnings Spending Policy

The Board of Directors of Doheny Eye Institute has responsibility for, and oversight of, the assets, investment policies and management of the endowment fund. The Doheny Board has authorized that 4% of the annual earnings generated by the endowment fund be utilized for annual operating support of the Chair holders academic activities.

Specific Questions and Additional Information

Please contact Molly Ann Woods, Chief Development Officer at Doheny Eye Institute, at (323) 342-7101 or via email at for additional information regarding the establishment of an endowed chair.