Columbia University Medical Center has announced a $50 million gift from alumni P. Roy Vagelos and his wife, Diana, bringing the total amount raised for the College of Physicians and Surgeons capital campaign to more than $1 billion.
The gift will support the construction of a new medical and graduate education building on the center's Washington Heights campus that will be named in the couple's honor. The project is part of a broader campus revitalization plan to add green space, consolidate student services, and renovate several existing buildings.
The former chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., Vagelos serves as chair of Columbia University Medical Center's board of visitors. Throughout his career, he has campaigned to raise money for the college's programs and served as a mentor for faculty, students, and staff.
"When I first came to P&S sixty years ago, the facilities were first-rate, as many of them had just been recently built. Naturally, over time some of them have aged, and new technologies and teaching resources are now required to provide the best modern education opportunities," said Vagelos. "The new building will have the best possible design that is attractive, comfortable, and appropriate for the intense kind of education that our students receive....It will incorporate every aspect of medical and graduate education — updated in a modern, environmentally responsible way."