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Largest Ever Donation to a US Medical School

The widow of a top Warren Buffett investor has donated $1 billion to Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx to cover tuition for all future students. Ruth Gottesman’s gift is the largest ever to a US medical school, according to a statement from the college.

Ruth Gottesman, philanthropist
Ruth Gottesman | Credit: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Her husband, David, died at 96 in 2022. He was a friend of legendary investor Buffett for six decades, and his early investments in Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. gave him a net worth of almost $3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The massive gift from Dr. Ruth Gottesman, an emerita faculty member, will be “transformational” in drawing students to the medical school in the city’s poorest borough. And by eliminating up to hundreds of thousands in student debt, the donation aims to make Einstein accessible to a broader range of candidates, the college said in a statement on Monday.

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” Dr. Yaron Tomer, Einstein’s dean, said in the statement. “Additionally, it will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive.”

Medical schools are notoriously expensive, often saddling doctors with exorbitant student loans. Annual tuition at Einstein is over $59K per year, with almost half of students owing more than $200K upon graduation. Not any more!

“I am very thankful to my late husband... 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,” Ruth Gottesman said in a statement.

Ruth Gottesman is the chair of Einstein’s board of trustees and was a longtime professor of pediatrics at the school. One condition of her donation is that the medical school retain its name; Albert Einstein agreed to his name being used in 1953.


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