BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A doctor who received his medical degree from
the University at Buffalo during World War II and spent his career
investing with the intent of giving back to his alma mater has made
an historic gift to the university.
The gift of $40 million is the largest-ever donation from an
individual to UB.
The donor, who is deceased, is remembered as someone who from an
early age knew that he wanted to be a physician.
"The day I received the letter of acceptance to the UB medical
school was the happiest day of my life," he told friends. "Becoming
a doctor was my lifelong dream."
UB President Satish K. Tripathi said that while the donor wished
to remain anonymous, his vision for the university will be widely
known as a result of his generosity.
"This donor began saving decades ago in order to one day benefit
UB because he believed in the power of this university to transform
lives and give students the ability to pursue their dreams,"
Tripathi said. "And he believed that UB possesses the potential to
become one of the world's leading public research universities.
"We, too, share his vision for UB. This historic gift further
inspires a growing momentum within UB and within this community to
make our shared vision a reality."
The gift, which is directed to the UB School of Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences, "opens the door to a future of world-class
medical education and health care in our region," Tripathi
"We are grateful to our anonymous alumnus, who in a very
dramatic way has shown us the power that private philanthropy has
to transform higher education," he said.
While some may find it unusual for the donor of such a
spectacular gift to shun the spotlight, those who knew him best
said that was his nature: He preferred to focus on the reason for
giving rather than on accolades. According to friends of the donor,
he was "truly grateful for his medical education," and enjoyed
watching his investments grow over the years, always remarking that
his financial success would mean "more for UB."
Michael E. Cain, MD, UB vice president for health sciences and
dean of the UB medical school, said the donor's commitment and
desire to give back to the medical school drove a burning interest
in the financial markets. "Because of his skill in investing, he
was able to take his simple means and turn it into a multimillion
dollar gift," Cain said.
The donor arranged his gift as a bequest to be used for the
priorities of UB's medical school dean. Cain said he will direct
the funds to one of his chief priorities for the school: hiring
faculty to support the growth of medical programs and research in
"This gift ensures that we can continue hiring top
physician-scientists to teach and perform groundbreaking research
in the UB medical school," Cain said. "It truly is a gift that will
keep on giving for generations.
"With the most gifted medical faculty from around the globe
teaching our students, class after class of UB medical school
graduates will be prepared to deliver the very best health care in
Western New York and far beyond."
As the plans for a new UB medical school in downtown Buffalo get
underway, Cain said the gift provides a major incentive for the
school to fulfill its vision of academic excellence while
contributing to the growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical
"Thanks to this gift, we expect to recruit to UB's medical
school the most sought-after faculty members, who in turn will
attract the brightest students to Buffalo and provide an
outstanding education to our homegrown students, as well," Cain
Jeremy M. Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North Companies and chairman
of the UB Council, said the gift builds on community-wide support
for UB's plans to construct a new medical school in downtown
Buffalo, under the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program approved
recently by Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature.
"This gift is invaluable for raising the university's profile on
the national and international stage," Jacobs added. "A gift of
this magnitude confirms what so many in Western New York already
know: that UB is a global leader in higher education and innovative
research. And as a result of these institutional strengths, UB also
is a catalyst for economic growth -- fueling development of a
regional biotechnology industry and creating new jobs."
UB medical school resident Tim Buckley, MD, said he is inspired
by the donor's generosity and the similarities he sees between the
donor's motivations and his own dreams.
"Like the donor, I decided to become a doctor at a very young
age," Buckley said. "I'm told that he held his patients in the
highest regard and delighted in the daily work of being a doctor.
Me, too. It's a primary reason I became a family doctor.
"And, like the donor, I'm very grateful for the education I
received from UB. Because of UB, I, too, am pursuing my dream to be
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, a flagship institution in the State University
of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus.
UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests
through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional
degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a
member of the Association of American Universities.