Western Michigan University to use $100 million cash gift to create private medical school
Western Michigan University
March 23, 2011
A $100 million cash gift, the largest ever made to a Michigan college or university, will be used to give birth to a private medical school at a public institution--Western Michigan University.
Announced today by WMU President John M. Dunn, the anonymous gift is among the 10 largest cash gifts ever made to an American public university and the 15th largest in the history of American higher education. The gift will serve as the foundation funding for a school of medicine that WMU is developing in partnership with Kalamazoo's two major hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare.
"Yesterday, I spoke with our donors to express the extreme gratitude of this University and this community," Dunn said at a morning news conference. "This is a historic gift and a historic moment. With their gift, these generous donors are endorsing the vision we've developed with our partners. It's a vision that will transform this community by leveraging its legacy and unique resources."
In making the announcement, Dunn mentioned key strengths upon which the new medical school will build--the community's long commitment to higher education, its 125-year history in the life sciences and its 35-year track record of providing third- and fourth-year medical education through two world-class teaching hospitals.
"Education, public/private partnerships and donor commitment are working in Kalamazoo in a way that makes this community an economic development model not just for the state but for the nation," Dunn said. "I'm so pleased to be a part of a community with the kind of energy and vision that have become Kalamazoo's hallmarks."
For the past three years, WMU, Borgess and Bronson have been working together to develop the new WMU School of Medicine. Dunn was joined at the March 22 news conference by the CEOs of the two hospitals, Paul Spaude of Borgess and Frank Sardone of Bronson, and by the founding dean of the school of medicine, Dr. Hal B. Jenson, whose appointment was announced Jan. 25.