Billionaire Ruth Gottesman Donates $1 Billion to Albert Einstein College of Medicine

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Billionaire Ruth Gottesman Donates $1 Billion to Albert Einstein College of Medicine

| Updated: February 29, 2024 14:37

Ruth Gottesman, a member of the board of trustees at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has donated $1 billion to the institution. This monumental gift, likely the largest ever given to a medical school, will ensure free tuition for all students at the school in perpetuity.

Gottesman’s donation will have a transformative impact on the lives of countless students, relieving them of the burden of substantial debt upon graduation. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, situated in the Bronx, the poorest borough of New York City, will now be able to offer a medical education to any student, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Ruth Gottesman is the widow of David Gottesman, an early protégé of Warren Buffett and an investor in Berkshire Hathaway. David Gottesman left his fortune to his wife, entrusting her to “do whatever you think is right with it.” Ruth Gottesman has chosen to use this wealth to fund students at Einstein, providing them with free tuition.

However, Gottesman’s gift comes with an unusual stipulation. Despite the tradition of naming buildings or institutions after their benefactors, Gottesman has insisted that the school retain its current name. “We’ve got the gosh darn name–we’ve got Albert Einstein,” she stated in an interview with The New York Times.

Initially, Gottesman did not want her donation to be public knowledge. However, Philip Ozuah, who oversees the medical college, convinced her that her story could serve as an inspiration to others. “Here’s somebody who is totally dedicated to the welfare of others and wants no accolades, no recognition,” Ozuah said.

Gottesman’s insistence on maintaining the school’s name underscores that her donation is not a vanity project. Instead, it exemplifies a key principle for leaders: the importance of generosity. Whether it’s giving time, attention, credit, or resources, leaders can make a transformational change in the lives of others.

Gottesman’s act of generosity is not just because she can, but because it’s a cause she believes in. Her story serves as a reminder of the impact that individuals can have when they are committed to making a difference in the lives of those around them, not for personal recognition, but for the value it adds to others.

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