Georgetown University Receives $87 Million Bequest

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has announced an $87 million bequest from Harry J. and Virginia Toulmin to support medical research at the university's medical center.

The gift — the largest in the university's history — originated as a $1.2 million charitable trust established by the will of Harry Toulmin after his death in 1965. His widow, Virginia, managed the trust for the next forty-five years, as it grew to its current value. A longtime Georgetown volunteer leader, Toulmin died on June 13 at the age of 84. The gift will be used to create the Warwick Evans and Mary Mason Washington Evans Medical Research Endowment, in honor of Harry Toulmin's grandparents. Warwick Evans was the first graduate of the Georgetown School of Medicine in 1852 and went on to become a professor of anatomy at the school.

Harry Toulmin served as an army colonel in both world wars and was an international patent attorney and owner and director of Central Pharmaceuticals. When he died, his wife ignored the advice of the company's attorney to sell the company for $1 million and instead ran it for three decades, eventually selling it to German drug company Schwarz Pharma A.G. in 1995 for $178 million.

"I am deeply grateful to Harry and Virginia Toulmin for their generosity and trust in Georgetown's ability to use these resources to create knowledge that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of others," said university president John J. DeGioia. "This gift will enable Georgetown to enhance our mission by strengthening and sustaining our commitment to groundbreaking medical research."

"Georgetown Receives Largest-Ever Gift." Georgetown University Press Release 09/13/2010.