By David Chao, PhD, President and CEO
A stone marker carved with “Hope for Life” greets everyone entering the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The sharply inscribed stone and its three-word message form the very foundation of the Institute. In a very simple and very profound way, Jim and Virginia Stowers have provided each member and visitor with a crisp and inspiring message—a message at the heart of their far-reaching and enduring vision.
Our co-founders’ vision grew from their long-standing dream of helping those suffering from life-threatening diseases and from their core belief in the power of scientific research and long-term investment. Their vision gave rise to two distinctive organizations, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and BioMed Valley Discoveries (BVD). Together, the Institute and BVD chart a path from research on fundamental biological processes to therapies improving the health of people around the world.
Jim passed away peacefully on March 17, 2014. Along with our friends at American Century, all of us at the Institute and BVD are saddened by the loss of our co-founder, colleague, and friend. We will miss Jim’s friendly and inspiring presence in our café, hallways, and meeting rooms. In remembering and celebrating Jim’s life, we are all inspired to redouble our efforts to realize and expand our co-founders’ vision. Jim’s timeless values of excellence, teamwork, and unrelenting effort will continue to serve as our perpetual guide.
Jim lived an extraordinary life, full of personal and professional successes and achievements. He was not afraid to dream big. And like all of us, he was not immune to periodic struggles and challenges, but, as an inspiration to many of us, he persevered with boundless energy and unwavering optimism. Jim used setbacks as opportunities to pause, evaluate, and determine what insight he could take away from the situation before sharpening his efforts. Jim was always looking to the future—even many generations down the road—and striving for the best. The Stowers six-word family motto, “The Best is Yet to Be,” will always serve as a perfect complement to the motto he and Virginia chose for the Institute.
I am honored to present this Special Edition of the Stowers Report as a celebration of Jim Stowers’ life. I hope you will find inspiration and motivation in the stories and images as you reflect on Jim’s life and his simple and profound messages.
We will miss you, Jim, but you will always inspire us to pursue your vision with commitment, optimism, and confidence that would make you proud. Together, we will make sure that the Institute bearing your name will thrive and long outlast the stone marker bearing your words.