In honor of UMD Medical School’s 40th anniversary, a very special gift was announced: a $1.6 million gift. This large, anonymous donation was made known to the public last Friday at the anniversary celebration. According to the dean of the Medical School, Gary Davis, this is the largest donation the school has ever received.
“Initially, when I realized there was a gift, of course I was happy about that,” Davis said. “But then when I realized the size of the gift, it was like, ‘Holy cow! This is serious money.’”
Even though the school has received large donation amounts in the past, the donor is normally known.
“It’s not uncommon for smaller gifts to be anonymous,” Davis said. “But this is the only sizable gift that I’m aware of that the donor requested strict anonymity.”
Another interesting aspect about this particular donation, Davis said, is that it was made un-restrictively.
“The really exciting thing is that the donation is un-restrictive, which means that we get to decide how to spend it,” Davis said. “Often donors of large gifts have something in mind that they want to support.”
Even though the donation was announced last Friday, Davis said a few select people have known about it for over a year.
“There were some financial and legal things that had to be done first,” Davis said. “But also, I wanted to time the announcement with the 40-year anniversary of the medical school, which was this fall.”
Although no decision has been made as to how the money will be used, Davis said that now “we will be able to do some things that we otherwise couldn’t do.”
Students, like second-year medical student Peter Hughes, are also excited about the possibilities this money will bring.
“We have a simulation center that gives us the opportunity to practice clinical situations in a simulated scenario,” Hughes said. “It’d be cool if that could be expanded. It would allow more integrated learning.”
Hughes said it doesn’t surprise him that the donation was anonymous.
“It seems kind of like a northland thing to do,” he said. “Whoever gave it really wanted it to go to good use, I’m assuming, and they didn’t want their name plastered to it.”
BY: ANNE KUNKEL CHRISTIANSON firstname.lastname@example.org