Harvard University has announced a $350 million gift from the Morningside Foundation in Newton, Massachusetts, to help the Harvard School of Public Health tackle the world’s toughest health challenges.
Given as part of the university's $6.5 billion Harvard Campaign, the gift — the largest in the university's history — will support efforts focused on four global health threats: pandemics such as malaria, Ebola, cancer, and obesity; harmful physical and social environments such as those resulting from tobacco use, gun violence, and pollution; poverty and humanitarian crises such as those stemming from war and natural disasters; and failing healthcare systems around the world. Although the specific conditions of the gift are being finalized, it is expected to enable HSPH to increase its support for qualified students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and from developing nations, which would enable those students to graduate and return home to work free of the burden of loans. It may also reduce HSPH's dependence on government research grants.
In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The funds represent the second gift to the university from the Morningside Foundation, which was established by the family of the late T.H. Chan. In 2012, the foundation endowed a professorship in radiobiology at the school.
"The field of public health drives discoveries that lead to healthier, longer, more productive lives," said Harvard president Drew Faust. "This extraordinary gift from the Chan family will enable Harvard's School of Public Health to tackle intractable health problems and to translate rigorous research into action and policy worldwide. The Chan family's generosity sends a signal to the world: This is the public health moment. We are honored by this gift. It will inspire a new generation of public health leaders."