Former Professor's $1 Billion Donation Covers Tuition for All Students at NYC Medical School

A generous donation of $1 billion was made by a former professor at a New York City medical school with the intention of covering tuition for all upcoming students. Ruth Gottesman, 93, conducted research on learning disabilities and managed literacy initiatives at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, according to the New York Times. David Gottesman, her deceased spouse, was an initial investor in Berkshire Hathaway and a student of Warren Buffett. In 2022, the financier passed away at the age of 96. The widow of the deceased, who leads the school's board of trustees, did not make any specific requests regarding the naming of the school.

Gottesman mentioned that her husband unexpectedly left her a portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock along with the instruction to make her own decision about it. She was faced with a challenging decision and decided to take some time before contemplating it. She had a meeting with Dr. Philip Ozuah in December. He is a friend and a pediatrician who supervises Einstein and its affiliated hospital. She inquired what he would do if offered a significant gift for the medical school. Ozuah mentioned that he had three concepts in mind. "First," he stated, "education could be made free —" before being cut off. That was the final decision made by Gottesman.

Edison's tuition exceeds $59,000 annually, with almost half of its graduates graduating with debts surpassing $200,000, according to the Times. In contrast, the debt rate at the majority of New York City medical schools is below 25%. Gottesman, with a doctorate in education, aims to help new doctors begin their careers unencumbered. She also hopes the donation will broaden opportunities for students who now are shut out. Gottesman expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity to expand access to medical school for students from diverse economic backgrounds.


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