Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx has received a $1 billion donation, one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The institution qualified the donation as being a “transformational gift” that will cover students’ tuition fees.

All current fourth-year students will have their Spring 2024 semester tuition reimbursed. The donation will also allow future students to enroll for free. Tuition for one year at the medical school totaled over $63,000, with over half of students being $200,000 in debt after graduating, according to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” Dr. Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a press release.

“Additionally, it will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive. We will be reminded of the legacy this historic gift represents each spring as we send another diverse class of physicians out across the Bronx and around the world to provide compassionate care and transform their communities,” they added.

Dr. Ruth Gottesman, a former professor and chair of the school’s board of trustees, donated the donation. 

“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 said.

Her husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman, was the founder of First Manhattan Co. and an early investor in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. He died in 2022.

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science,” Gottesman added. “They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world.”

Nearly half of students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine are native New Yorkers, and 60% are women, according to the institution. Under half of the students are white, while 29% are Asian, 11% are Hispanic, and 5% are Black.

The donation is rare for its size and because it goes to an institution in the Bronx, New York City’s poorest borough.