93-year-old widow of a major Wall Street investor donates $1 billion to cover tuition in NYC poorest area

The widow of a prominent Wall Street financier has donated an eye-watering $1 billion to a New York City medical school.

Ruth Gottesman's husband, David 'Sandy' Gottesman, founded a prominent investment house and was an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company.

David passed away in September 2022 at the age of 96, leaving behind $1 billion in stocks. In his will, he simply told his wife of 72 years to "do whatever you think is right," according to the Daily Mail.

So rather than keep the money herself, Ruth decided to donate all of her late husband's money to a good cause.
On Monday (February 26), the 93-year-old widow announced her huge contribution to the students and faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine - which is located in The Bronx, New York City's poorest borough.

"I'm happy to share with you that starting in August this year, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be tuition-free," Gottesman announced in front of her alma mater.

Watch the moment below:

The reaction was swift, with several students jumping in celebration while others shedding tears. Many viewers also shared their awe-struck reactions on X (formerly Twitter).

One user praised: "This is unprecedented and incredible. This is the way Education should be. Affordable," while another applauded: "Their joy brought tears to my eyes. This is what we need more of in this country. Billionaires really *can* help, if they wanted to."

A third commented: "It made me weepy. I am speechless. It is such an outstanding act of selflessness," and a fourth added: "Congrats to all current and future medical students. You have no idea how profoundly this gracious donation will affect your future."
The former professor began working at the school in 1968. She studied learning disabilities, ran literacy programs, and developed widely used screening and evaluation protocols.

Her donation is not only one of the largest-ever charitable gifts to an educational institution in the United States but also the largest ever made to a medical school, per BBC.

In a statement obtained by the publication, university dean Dr. Yaron Yomer remarked that the "transformational" gift "radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it".

Tuition at the university is nearly $59,000 each year, leaving students with considerable debt. The grant "will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive," Dr. Yomer added.

The statement also noted students in their final year will be compensated for their spring 2024 tuition, and from August, all students, including those who are currently enrolled, will receive free tuition.

Dr.Gottesman opened up about her contribution, sharing that doctors who train at Einstein go on to "provide the finest healthcare to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world".

"I am very thankful to my late husband, Sandy, for leaving these funds in my care, and l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause," she added.

She also revealed to The New York Times that she "wanted to fund students at Einstein so that they would receive free tuition," explaining: "There was enough money to do that in perpetuity."

The widow added that she occasionally wonders what her husband would have thought of the donation, saying: "I hope he's smiling and not frowning. He gave me the opportunity to do this, and I think he would be happy - I hope so."

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