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Minnesota 'transplants' sing University's praises

When Thomas Carrier, M.D., joined an obstetrics and gynecology practice in Minnesota in 1966, he and his wife, Anne, were a little apprehensive about how they would adjust to life away from their families on the East Coast.

Forty-two years later, the Carriers are still here. They are proud to have raised their three daughters in the “dynamic” Twin Cities community and have tremendous respect for the University of Minnesota.

“I think it’s probably the greatest asset our state has,” says Tom Carrier.

The University has been an asset to him personally, as well. When he moved to Minnesota to practice, Carrier also hoped to serve as a mentor to young physicians, as he was so grateful to those who mentored him. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health gave him that opportunity through an appointment to the clinical faculty, and he eventually became a clinical professor.

Anne Carrier has seen the inner workings of the University from a different perspective. She served two four-year terms on the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s board of trustees and spent four years on the board’s executive committee. MMF is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for health-focused research, education, and service at the University.

Anne says she felt privileged to serve on the MMF board and to see firsthand how the University makes an impact on the Twin Cities, the state, and the world. “There’s a level of excellence here that we need to ensure continues,” she says.

To that end, the Carriers have set aside $50,000 in their estate plan for health-related initiatives at the University. They’ve also made annual gifts for nearly two decades.

Half of the Carriers’ estate gift will go to an unrestricted fund at MMF so the board can direct it to the area it deems most in need. “Any strong organization needs some flexibility, and I’m very comfortable doing that,” Anne Carrier says.

The other half has been directed to the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health. “Women’s health has been my career and remains my passion,” says Tom Carrier. “I’m so grateful for the opportunities the department gave me. This is a small way of saying thank you.”

Tom Carrier also recently wrote a book about the people and events that have shaped his life. His intent never was to make money from it, he says. So instead, he has donated all proceeds from the first 500 copies of the memoir, titled If I Had It To Do Over … I Wouldn’t Change a Thing, and encouraged readers to donate to women’s health research and education at the University.

So far, more than 160 people have done that, giving a total of nearly $13,000.

And the Carriers—self-described Minnesota “transplants” —say they’ll do anything they can to further the University’s mission. “We really appreciate the University and realize what a vital role it plays both here and beyond our borders,” Tom says.

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