Former professor donates R$5 billion to pay tuition for all medical school students in New York’s poorest neighborhood

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A former professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York, announced a donation of US$1 billion (about R$5 billion) to the institution, according to the newspaper “The New York Times”. 

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According to Ruth Gottesman, 93, the author of the donation, the money is intended to cover the graduation costs of all students.

As a result, the donation made by Dr. Ruth Gottesman is one of the largest in the history of the United States destined for an educational institution in the country.

In addition to the high value, the donation also drew attention due to its destination: a college in the Bronx, the poorest neighborhood with the worst health rates in New York City, according to the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

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Namely, the cost of graduating from Einstein College is more than US$59,000 per year, and many ended up graduating with debts of around US$200,000.

According to the American newspaper, Gottesman’s gesture goes against donations made by other billionaires in the past, who allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to better-known medical schools and hospitals in Manhattan, the richest neighborhood in the city.

Ruth Gottesman is a former professor at Albert Einstein, where she studied learning disabilities, developed a screening test, and coordinated literacy programs. She arrived at the institution in 1968 as director of psychoeducational services and is currently the president of the college’s board of trustees.

According to information from “The New York Times”, Ruth’s fortune came from her late husband, David Gottesman, who was close to Warren Buffett, an American investor who is among the richest people in the world, according to Forbes lists.

According to Ruth, when her husband died in 2022, he left Berkshire Hathaway shares to her. “Do what you think is right with it,” said Ruth recalling David’s posthumous message.

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