Chancellor and Husband’s Historic Gift to Student Support Inspires Anonymous Donor
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, and her husband, Nicholas Hellmann, MD, recently made an extraordinary gift to the campus: $1 million for professional student scholarships to be divided four ways between the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.
Each of the schools will receive $250,000 upon securing a matching gift of $250,000, creating the first Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarships at UCSF. An anonymous donor has stepped up to make the match for the School of Dentistry. The largest donation ever to be received from a past or present UCSF chancellor was motivated by the campus’s new educational fundraising priority.
“I have a particular fondness for UCSF’s educational mission because that’s what brought me here in the first place,” says Desmond-Hellmann, who came to UCSF as an intern in 1982. “I knew that I had landed at just the place I wanted to be: one committed to training the very best health care providers and researchers, but doing it in an amazingly warm and nurturing environment.” She continues, “I’ve seen a lot of academic institutions since then, but I’ve never seen another training environment that matched the one I found here. I am determined to do what I can to preserve that special culture and, in some key ways, make it even better.” Nick Hellmann, who met his wife while they were both residents at UCSF, says, “We want to help UCSF continue its leadership and excellence in professional education, and inspire other alumni and friends to support our students.”
Dean John Featherstone, MSc, PhD, says these gifts are transformational for the School of Dentistry. “We are extremely thankful to Sue and Nick, and our extraordinarily generous anonymous donor, for opening the doors of opportunity for deserving students. We will be awarding the first Chancellor’s Scholarship for Opportunity to an outstanding and deserving student who will enter the DDS class in September 2012,” he says.
He adds that their generosity will make a significant impact as the California state budget cuts catapult the school’s tuition and fees. Tuition is up 9.6 percent and professional fees have risen 35 percent in the last three years. “We’ve been able to award some new scholarships in the last couple of years, and the funds from the Hellmanns and this anonymous donor are huge in terms of increasing that effort,” says Featherstone.