Jewish widow gifts free tuition to all students at New York medical school

The $ 1 billion dollar gift will allow the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to give free tuition


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 26: The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is seen on February 26, 2024 in the Morris Park neighborhood in the Bronx borough of New York City. Dr. Ruth Gottesman, a former professor at Einstein and widow of Wall Street financier David Gottesman, announced a $1 billion donation to the school, with the money to be used to cover tuition for all students going forward. The donation is one of the largest ever charitable gifts to an educational institution in the United States. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The Jewish widow of one of Warren Buffet’s protégé has given $ 1 billion to a Bronx medical school to cover tuition for all its students.

Ruth Gottesman, 93, was left a portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock by her husband David and a note “Do whatever you think is right with it” when he died in 2022, according to The New York Times.

Mrs Gottesman is the chair of the board of trustees at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she was also a professor.

At first, Mrs Gottesman didn’t want to think about the bequest, but after her children told her not to wait too long she made up her mind quickly.

“I wanted to fund students at Einstein so that they would receive free tuition,” she said.

According to the Times, when asked what her husband would think of her donation, Ruth said: “I hope he’s smiling and not frowning.

“But he gave me the opportunity to do this, and I think he would be happy — I hope so.”

Mrs Gottesman is leaving enough money to do that in perpetuity, she said.

Tuition is $59,000 and many students graduate with more than £200,000 of debt.

“We have terrific medical students, but this will open it up for many other students whose economic status is such that they wouldn’t even think about going to medical school,” she said.

The donation, thought to be one of the largest ever given to a single educational institution makes the college the second university in New York City to make tuition free for medical students. New York University made a similar decision in 2018, and saw a huge uplift in applications.

However, one of the conditions of the donation is that the medical school doesn’t change its 

“We’ve got the gosh darn name. We’ve got Albert Einstein,” she said.

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