University of Houston has received an anonymous $50-million gift — and an ambitious challenge.
Fairy godmothers are known for all kinds of generous deeds but few, we would think, could surpass the magic wand trick that completely erased tuition for the University of Houston‘s inaugural medical school class. When those hopeful docs start classes in 2020, there will be no tuition worries.
An anonymous donor has contributed $3 million to cover their entire expenses.
Last November, the UH System Board of Regents, led by Houston billionaire and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, approved establishment of the medical school which will focus on graduating primary care doctors, preparing them to practice in underserved urban and rural communities both in Houston and across the sate.
“Student debt is the number one deterrent for students when applying to medical school,” Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston, said in a statement. “This generous gift will allow such students an opportunity to attend and ultimately lead the future medical workforce.”
The goal is to reach a total of 389 resident positions by 2025, that number facilitated through a partnership with HCA Healthcare‘s Gulf Coast Division.
“Thanks to this amazing gift,” noted dean Dr. Stephen J. Spann, “we’re one step closer to becoming a major resource for the community by addressing the shortage of primary care physicians.”
The gift also adds to the bottom line of the university’s $1 billion “Here, We Go” campaign. Through philanthropy, state appropriations and intellectual property revenue the university aims to secure $120 million over 10 years to cover startup costs of the College of Medicine.