NORTH GRAFTON, MASS.-Tufts University's School of Veterinary Medicine received a $50-million gift commitment last month, the largest endowment in the institution's history.
NORTH GRAFTON, MASS.—Tufts University's School of Veterinary Medicine received a $50-million gift commitment last month, the largest endowment in the institution's history.
Tufts officials add that the award, which will be dolled out during a 15-year period, could top all single gifts to veterinary colleges in the United States.
The donation comes from the foundation headed by local real estate mogul Bill Cummings. In his honor, the school will be renamed the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in a ceremony to be held next spring.
"Tufts is enormously grateful to Cummings Foundation for this extraordinary gift," Tufts University President Lawrence Bacow says. "One measure of a just society is how well it takes care of those that cannot take care of themselves. People who devote their lives to animals are among the most caring and unselfish among us. The Cummings Foundation gift appropriately recognizes their selfless commitment."
Cummings, who has no previous connection to the veterinary school, graduated from Tufts in 1958 with an economics degree and is a trustee emeritus of the university's medical school. While claiming no particular focus on animal care, Cummings acknowledges a desire to concentrate donations where they're most needed.
Tufts' veterinary school is the most expensive veterinary institution in the country, with 2004-2005 tuition reaching $32,894 for out-of-state students. Budget cuts have significantly reduced the annual subsidies the school receives from its partnership with the state, officials say.
"This gift will help fund needed capital improvements, provide matching funds in support of major research proposals and greatly strengthen both the educational and clinical mission of the school," Dean Philip Kosch, DVM, says. "I cannot thank Cummings Foundation enough for its vote of confidence in the faculty, staff and students who make Tufts Veterinary School the special place that it is."