Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
March 12, 2024 ·  3 min read

Widow Donates $1 Billion to Cover Tuition for NYC’s Poorest Area Forever

The 96-year-old man who was Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman’s husband died in 2022, but he left her more than just memories. David Gottesman, her husband, was a VC on Wall Street and one of the first people to invest in Berkshire Hathaway, an American global conglomerate holding company. Ruth found out after he died that he had a huge $1 billion in stocks and told her to “do whatever you think is right with it.” So Ruth is not going to take a trip to the Bahamas for a year. Instead, she is giving all the money to a good cause. The Alfred P. Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, which is the poorest neighborhood of New York, got the money. With this gift, the medical school in the country gets the biggest tuition donation ever. The New York Times says Ruth used to work at a well-known medical school. In 1968, she became the head of psychoeducational services.

Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman. Image Credit: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Though Ruth is no longer working, she is still the chair of the school’s board of trustees. She is a clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics. The 93-year-old woman told the news outlet that she didn’t know her late husband had hidden away a lot of money. “He left me, unbeknownst to me, a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock,” she shared. With her huge gift, current fourth-year students will get their tuition back for the spring 2024 term, and starting in the autumn, all students will have free tuition from then on.

Tuition Barrier Removed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The cost of going to Albert Einstein College of Medicine is over $59,000 a year. Ruth said, “We have great medical students at Einstein, but this will make it possible for many other students whose finances are so bad that they wouldn’t even think about going to medical school.” “That’s what makes me very happy about this gift,” she said. Current reports say that Einstein has 1,070 students and 239 research fellows.

Later, Dr. Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz Dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a statement that Ruth’s gift “radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission.” He went on, per CBS News: “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.” I believe that everyone can agree that Ruth is a really nice person.

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