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New York medical school to offer free tuition after $1 billion dollar donation

New York medical school to offer free tuition after $1 billion dollar donation
Posted at 10:40 AM, Feb 27, 2024

A former professor of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York has donated $1 billion to the school to provide students a free education, making it the largest donation to a U.S. medical school to date.

The medical school in the Bronx, which is connected with the Montefiore Health System, received the transformational donation from 94-year-old Ruth L. Gottesman, Ed.D., who currently serves as the Chair of the Einstein Board of Trustees and a board member of the Montefiore Health System.

Gottesman placed one stipulation on the massive donation, according to the press release: it must “ensure that no student at Einstein will have to pay tuition again.”

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The Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics stood before the student body on Feb. 26 to drop the surprise on them.

“I’m happy to share with you that starting in August this year, Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be tuition-free,” she announced.

Students couldn’t contain their excitement at the announcement and jumped out of their seats, screaming and crying.

According to the college’s press release, all current fourth-year students will also receive full reimbursement for their spring 2024 tuition.

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science,” Gottesman said in the press release. “They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world. I am very thankful to my late husband, Sandy, for leaving these funds in my care, and l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause.”

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The $1 billion endowment, which the school reports is the largest gift ever to a medical school in the U.S., came to the college after Gottesman’s careful consideration of what to do with a financial portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock left to her by her husband, David S. Gottesman, following his death in 2022. David Gottesman was the founder of wealth management firm First Manhattan Co. and an early investor in Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway.

After taking some time to examine how the money could make the biggest impact, she knew her mission. She decided to fund an endowment that would give Einstein’s medical students free tuition going forward.

Students celebrate learning they get free medical school tuition
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Gottesman began her work at Einstein Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center in 1968. During that time, she developed assessments and treatment plans for students with learning disabilities. She also developed the Adult Literacy Program in 1992 and became the founding director of the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities in 1998.

Dr. Philip Ozuah, president and CEO of Montefiore Einstein, expressed his thanks to his colleague, friend and now, the school’s benefactor.

“I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Gottesman for this historic and transformational gift,” he said in the press release. “I believe we can change healthcare history when we recognize that access is the path to excellence. With this gift, Dr. Gottesman will fund excellence in perpetuity and secure our foundational mission of advancing human health.”

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