DALLAS - Dallas philanthropist and Waxahachie native John P. Harbin and his daughter, Linda Robuck, have given $500,000 to support UT Southwestern Medical Center’s research into Alzheimer’s disease, for which he and his late wife, Dorothy, were committed to help find a cure.
The gift, made to Southwestern Medical Foundation, will be added to the Dorothy L. and John P. Harbin Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Dorothy L. and John P. Harbin Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, which were established by the couple in 1997 with a $1 million gift.
This latest contribution was made as part of the medical center’s $500 million Innovations in Medicine campaign.
Dorothy Harbin, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died in 2002.
“My daughter and I wanted to do whatever we could to fight the disease and I wanted to continue to support what Dorothy and I started more than 10 years ago,” said John Harbin, former director, chairman and chief executive officer of Halliburton, a diversified oil field services, engineering and construction company. “I am a big believer in the excellence of UT Southwestern and its leadership and am hopeful about the future of Alzheimer’s disease research and the medical center’s role in finding a cure.”
A native of Waxahachie, Harbin graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1939 with a degree in accounting. He worked as an accountant for Carter Oil Company and then Creole Petroleum Corporation, both parts of today’s ExxonMobil Corporation. In 1943, Harbin joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and soon met and married Dorothy Lee, a Texas Woman’s University graduate from Orange.
In 1948, he accepted a position as controller for Halliburton Company, then headquartered in Oklahoma. When the company headquarters relocated to Dallas, the Harbins returned to Texas for good. He retired from Halliburton in 1983 and joined Lone Star Technologies in 1989, where he remained until 2003.
Harbin has held directorships for more than a dozen corporations, including Citibank/Citicorp of New York. In 1981, UT Austin named him a distinguished alumnus. He was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1994 and has remained active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, where the former Scout served as president of the organization’s Circle Ten Foundation from 1967 to 1996.
Harbin has been a trustee of Zale Lipshy University Hospital, a member of the board of visitors of UT Southwestern University Hospitals and Clinics and an honorary trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation.
“UT Southwestern’s success in maintaining the excellence of our programs depends to a significant degree upon the support and trust of community supporters like Jack Harbin and Linda Robuck,” said Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of the medical center. “We are immensely grateful for their loyal friendship and confidence in our institution, as well as their commitment to fighting a disease that affects more than five million Americans.”
W. Plack Carr Jr., president of Southwestern Medical Foundation, said, “This is a tremendously exciting gift on many different levels.”
There still is much to be done in the fight against this devastating disease and we’re sincerely touched by Jack Harbin and his daughter’s willingness to support UT Southwestern’s basic research and clinical-care programs in such a significant way.”