HudsonAlpha receives $1.5M gift to name first endowed faculty chair
June 17, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – A $1.5 million gift to the HudsonAlpha Foundation by Miguel “Mike” Loya, a Texas businessman and HudsonAlpha supporter, has established the first endowed faculty chair at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Richard M. Myers, PhD, Institute president and science director, has been appointed as the M.A. Loya Endowed Faculty Chair in Genomics.
“Over the years, I have seen HudsonAlpha take enormous strides in Alzheimer disease research, and I want to continue the momentum by supporting the Institute’s neurological research projects,” Loya said. “My family has a personal connection to these devastating diseases and I want to make sure HudsonAlpha can continue their work to find answers.”
As the eldest of seven siblings, Loya came from modest means in El Paso, Texas, on the border with Mexico. He went on to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received his MBA from Harvard and started his career in the oil industry.
Recently retired, he served as the president of Vitol, Inc., one of the world’s largest oil trading companies for nearly two decades. Both Loya’s mother and grandmother had Alzheimer disease, which led to his interest in neurological disease research.
“Mike has once again demonstrated his commitment to HudsonAlpha and neurological disease research by providing this generous gift to the Institute,” said Myers. “His positive impact will continue for generations to come, and we are grateful for his generosity.”
Loya previously supported the HudsonAlpha Foundation Memory and Mobility Program to study neurological diseases with a $1M gift. As recognition of that gift, the Institute’s cafe was named the Anita Loya Cafe in his mother’s honor.
“This is the first endowed faculty chair position for HudsonAlpha,” said Elizabeth Herrin, HudsonAlpha Foundation Director of External Relations. “Endowed faculty chairs provide the necessary funding to advance research and discovery and are critical for retaining and attracting top talent. We are very grateful to Mike for this gift.”
The HudsonAlpha Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Institute, has created the opportunity to name endowed faculty chairs, such as the M.A. Loya Chair, as a way for donors to make an investment in the Institute to ensure its sustainability. In addition, endowed faculty chairs help increase faculty retention and recruit new talent. For more information, please click here.