Massive $1 billion donation to NYC’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine will provide free tuition

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The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx received a staggering $1 billion donation from a retired professor and will offer free tuition to all of its medical students going forward, the school revealed Monday.

The historic contribution from Dr. Ruth Gottesman was believed to be one of the largest made to any medical school in the country. The 93-year-old Gottesman stipulated that her largesse be used to cover tuition for all current and future students at the school in the Big Apple’s poorest borough.

Gottesman, a longtime former professor at the Bronx school, was able to provide the generous donation through the fortune of her late husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman — a Wall Street powerhouse and early investor in Warren Buffet’s financial holdings company Berkshire Hathaway.

“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,” Gottesman said in a statement.

Dr. Ruth Gottesman, 93, donated $1 billion to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. Getty Images
Dr. Ruth Gottesman, 93, donated $1 billion to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. Getty Images

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science,” Gottesman, the chair of the Einstein Board of Trustees, continued.

“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.”

The $1 billion gift will have an immediate effect on all current fourth-year students by reimbursing their spring 2024 tuition payment.

Starting in August, all students will graduate from Albert Einstein College of Medicine without having paid a dime, the school said.

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” said Yaron Tomer, the med school’s dean.

The historic contribution — believed to be the largest made to any medical school in the US — will ensure free tuition to all of its med students. Getty Images
The historic contribution — believed to be the largest made to any medical school in the US — will ensure free tuition to all of its med students. Getty Images

“We will be reminded of the legacy this historic gift represents each spring as we send another diverse class of physicians out across the Bronx and around the world to provide compassionate care and transform their communities.”

Tuition at the school is more than $59,000 a year.

Under normal circumstances, a donation of that size to a medical school or hospital would usually warrant a name change. Gottesman, however, was adamant her name not be attached as a condition of her contribution.

“We’ve got the gosh darn name — we’ve got Albert Einstein,” she told the New York Times.

Gottesman’s tenure with the school dates back to 1968 when she joined the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center and developed widely used tools to help screen and support kids with learning disabilities.

She established the center’s first adult literacy program in 1992 and was named the founding director of the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities in 1998.

The $1 billion gift adds to the number of philanthropic contributions to the school by Gottesman and her late husband, who died in 2022.