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

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Dr. Ruth Gottesman. Image Credit: einsteinmed

Widow gives $1 billion to cover forever school costs for the poorest area of New York City

Paying for school

Dr. Ruth has done a lot of great things at Einstein and has given years of her life to the school. The job she got in 1968 was “Director of Psychoeducational Services,” and she rose through the ranks to become chair of the board of trustees. She looked into learning difficulties and made a test for them. But her choice to give $1 billion to help pay for future students’ college costs seems to be the most amazing thing she has ever done. It is possibly the biggest gift ever given to a medical school and one of the biggest gifts ever given to a school in the United States.

In 2022, she lost her husband David Gottesman, who she loved and called Sandy. The 96-year-old man had done many amazing things in his life. For example, he gave his wife a gift that she generously gave to students to help pay for their school. She told the New York Times, “He left me a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock, and I didn’t know it.” “Take care of it however you see fit.”

Dr. Ruth Gottesman. Image Credit: einsteinmed

Schools with less money need more help.

It took the mourning wife a while to grieve, but her children told her not to wait too long. Her kind choice will not only change the lives of students, but it will also change the lives of students who really need an extra boost. The Einstein School of Medicine is in the Bronx, which is the poorest part of the city and the “unhealthiest” county in New York.

It’s too bad that most of the gifts go to schools with more money, like those in Manhattan. Unfortunately, this means that many Einstein University students don’t have as many tools or the money to invest in their futures as students in Manhattan. A little over 60% of Einstein’s students are women. About 29% are Asian and 48% are white. Hispanics and Black people together make up less than 20% of the population.

Sandy ran an investment company and was one of the first people to put money into Berkshire Hathaway. After making this choice, he and his family had a lot of money. Now, his wife has decided to do something amazing with some of the things he left behind. It was her goal to give money to Einstein kids so that they could get free tuition. “That could be done forever because there was enough money.”


Now more than ever, college costs a lot.

Everything costs a lot more now than they did before. A lot of medicine students have around $200,000 in debt when they graduate. At other schools in New York, though, the bills were much lower—less than 25% of students owed that much. The cost of medical school alone is enough to keep someone with less money from becoming a doctor, even though doctors make a lot of money. Many students, including those from hard-working families, will be able to reach their goals thanks to Ruth’s amazing gift of fees.

She said, “We have great medical students, but this will make it possible for many more students whose finances are so bad that they wouldn’t even think about going to medical school.” “That’s why this gift makes me so happy.” Dr. Ruth is friends with Dr. Philip Ozuah, a doctor who is in charge of both the college and the Montefiore Medical Center. Their relationship grew, and so did the chance to work together on an amazing project.

“I have the chance to make a huge difference in the lives of not only Phil, but also Montefiore and Einstein, and I’m grateful and proud that I can do it.”

A friendship that saved her life

They got to know each other well while sitting next to each other on a trip from West Palm Beach, Florida. During the flight, they talked about their childhoods. The place where they grew up. And talked about how their shared hobbies, career goals, and desire to help others brought them together. A few weeks after the terrible trip, the 2020 Pandemic hit the world and threw everything into chaos. During this time, one of the versions made David “Sandy” Gottesman very sick. At the same time, Dr. Ozuah, who was kind, kept an eye on the couple often. He had an ambulance come to their house and take them to Montefiore.

“That’s how the friendship grew,” Dr. Ozuah said. “I went to see them in Rye probably every day for about three weeks.”

Dr. Ozuah asked Dr. Gottesman to go back to her old job sometime after she got better. Being in charge of the medical board’s members. And after she had some time to think, Dr. Ruth Gottesman went to see her close friend Dr. Ozuah after her husband died. “What would you do if someone said, ‘I’ll give you a huge gift that will change the medical school,'” she asked. The first thing he said was to get rid of school fees. The reason they didn’t go any further is that Ruth wanted them to stop there.


Being humble over fame

She didn’t want to sign the gift because she thought, “Nobody needs to know.” But Dr. Ozuah argued that her story could inspire someone else. He told his friend, “Here’s someone who cares deeply about other people and doesn’t want any praise or attention.” Instead of changing the school’s name, Dr. Ruth has asked that it keep its name because “we’ve got the gosh darn name—we’ve got Albert Einstein.” She told me.

She told her husband about her gift, “I hope he’s smiling and not frowning.” He did give me the chance to do this, though, so I think he’d be happy. I hope so.

Einstein isn’t the first medical school to waive fees, which is pretty crazy. Beginning in 2018, New York University started giving medical students free tuition. Since then, there have been more applications. The bond between Dr. Ruth and Dr. Ozuah, along with the widow’s wealth, will probably help a lot of students reach their goals, which will greatly enhance the future of medicine.

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