Students Erupt in Joy as Free Tuition Announced at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York announced on February 26 that all students will receive free tuition starting in August 2024, thanks to a $1 billion gift from the widow of a Wall Street investor.

Footage filmed by Michael Gilmore shows students cheering with joy as Dr Ruth L Gottesman, the widow of David “Sandy” Gottesman, announced the gift.

Dr Gottesman, who is Clinical Professor Emerita of Pediatrics at the college, has a 55-year association with the Bronx school.

According to Montefiore Health System, the gift is the largest made to any medical school in the country. “This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” said Dr Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz Dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Both Ruth and David Gottesman, the latter of whom died in 2022, had a history of making generous donations to the institution. Credit: Michael Gilmore via Storyful

Video transcript

RUTH L. GOTTESMAN: Each year, many of you come to Iceland to attain degrees in medicine and science. You leave here four years later as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians with the expertise to find new ways to prevent and cure diseases and provide the finest health care all over the world.

I've seen it every white coat ceremony I've been here since its inception and at every graduation as long as I can remember. And I feel so blessed and privileged that my late husband David Gottesman left funds in my care that allow me to make a gift to you. I'm happy to share with you that starting in August this year, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be tuition-free.