History Making Donation Pays Tuition For Medical School Students

February 26, 2024
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My mom’s been a physician for 30 years. She’s still paying off her for medical school. Like this is really, really life changing. I think people don’t even comprehend how much it can change the trajectory of our life. We’re really, really grateful.

First-year medical student Leeva Laub Montefiore at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, New York on a history-making donation of $1 billion to the school that will pay student tuition (including hers!).

Why It Matters: “It is one of the largest charitable donations to an educational institution in the United States and most likely the largest to a medical school.” (The New York Times) Medical school costs on average approximately $60,000 a year. Now students can attend Albert Einstein School of Medicine tuition-free.

Backstory:

This 93-year-old Dr. Ruth Gottesman made the $1 billion donation to the school where she currently serves on the board of trustees and also worked as a professor since the 1960s. Her husband, a former investment banker who made an early investment in Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett’s successful conglomerate) willed her the money.

“He left me, unbeknownst to me, a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock,” she recalled. The instructions were simple: “Do whatever you think is right with it,” she recalled. (The New York Times)

“The donation goes to the school in the Bronx where the poverty rate is higher than any other borough and it is also the least healthy county in the state — with high rates of obesity and premature death.” (Local ABC News – NY)

by Jenna Lee,

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