On the heels of its $500,000 gift to establish the Daniel E. Offutt III Endowment Fund in Psychiatry last year, the Offutt Charitable Trust has made another transformative pledge of $2.5 million to the Department of Psychiatry. Chair Gregory W. Dalack, M.D., recently announced the gift made to establish the Daniel E. Offutt III Professorship designated to support the Chairship of the Department of Psychiatry.
In sharing the news, Dalack emphasized that this gift will ensure that the future department chairs will hold an endowed professorship in perpetuity, which will “provide additional support to carry out the vision of the chair, and enhance the opportunity to recruit the brightest and best to the leadership role of the department.”
“The executor of Mr. Offutt’s estate, through whom this gift was made, is equally excited about this opportunity. I look forward to celebrating this gift with all of you and him at a time in the future when we can gather together,” Dalack shared.
Upon approval by the Regents of the University of Michigan, Dalack will be the first holder of the Daniel E. Offutt III Professorship. He has been the chair of the Department of Psychiatry since 2010, after joining the faculty in 1992. Dalack has held a number of department leadership roles along with significant service to the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System’s Mental Health Service over the years. His research centers on the treatment of chronic and persistent mental illnesses, particularly schizophrenia. He is also active in developing collaborative psychiatric and behavioral health care programs in primary care clinics at Michigan Medicine and beyond. In June 2020, Dalack was selected as teacher of the year by psychiatry residents.
Daniel Offutt III lived in Weston, Connecticut. After a successful career as a stockbroker, he turned his attention to tennis, travel, art, and collecting. Richard H. Orenstein of Sarasota, Florida — trustee of the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust — recalls, “Dan would have described himself as a ‘farmer,’ but he was much more than that.”
Orenstein graduated from U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 1962. He has an avid interest in engineering and psychiatry and has been engaged philanthropically in both areas for several years.
He went on to say, “I am delighted, on Daniel’s behalf, to endow this chair which will provide continuing support for these most important causes. Dan himself was a supporter of continuing education and would have been pleased to support such a talented group.”
Michigan Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry has been in existence for a century with a well-deserved reputation for cutting-edge research and highly-ranked care. As home to the nation’s first comprehensive Depression Center it continues to break new ground in patient care, education, and research. The Daniel Offutt III Research Award, which provides matching funds for Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research pilot grants, was established in 2019. Its inaugural grants were awarded to Lora Cope, Ph.D., and Jonathan Morrow, M.D., Ph.D.
To learn more about businessman, artist, builder, and benefactor Daniel Offutt III, visit the Weston Historical Society website which features an exhibition about him.