Tulane School of Medicine receives largest donation to date

Annika Beringer | Staff Artist

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The Tulane School of Medicine received a $25 million gift on Sept. 18. The donation, which is the largest ever received by the medical school, will be used to support future clinical and translational research projects.

Bertie Deming Smith gave the money to Tulane in honor of her late husband John W. Deming, a 1944 graduate of Tulane School of Medicine.

“By making this gift, I wanted to pay tribute to John’s deep love for Tulane and his belief in the importance of education,” Deming Smith said in a Tulane University press release.

Since John W. Deming died in 1996, his family has honored his legacy with multiple donations to his alma mater.

The Deming Pavilion and Deming Residence Hall on the Health Sciences campus, as well as three endowed chairs in the Department of Medicine, have all been products of the family’s support. Additionally, Deming Smith’s father Charles Murphy funded the Tulane Murphy Foundation, which eventually brought about the Murphy Institute for Political Economy.

“Dr. Deming and his family have been enormously helpful to Tulane overall,” Lee Hamm, dean of Tulane School of Medicine, said.

The university has chosen to honor the family’s most recent gift by renaming its Department of Medicine for him.

Much of the money itself will be used as an endowment, which will support new investigators at the medical school as they begin their careers and faculty working on various projects. The donation will also fund research projects in a number of fields.

“It will undoubtedly have a huge impact,” Hamm said. “It really should be able to accelerate our research efforts, particularly in a clinical and translational direction.”