The University Cardiovascular Center will be named in honor of the late Samuel and Jean Frankel, whose family donated a combined $50 million to the center.
Coleman announced at the University’s Board of Regents meeting Thursday that the family added an additional $25 million to their previous anonymous donation of $25 million in 2007 when the center opened. The Regents approved the naming of the Cardiovascular Center to recognize the contributions.
The meeting marked the first time the name of the anonymous donation was identified. Coleman added that the donation made the center “a model in its approach to health care.”
The donation in 2007 supported a health-care model focused on cooperation among health-care providers and on putting patients and families first — a multi-disciplined approach that has never been attempted before.
Because of the success of the first donation, the Frankel family contributed another donation to the center to “build on successes of the last six years,” Ora Pescovitz, the executive vice president for medical affairs, said. In an interview after the event, Pescovitz said the family’s contributions have made the University’s Cardiovascular Center an example for others to follow and has improved the U.S. World & Report’s rankings of the center, where it ranks 12th in the nation.
The center focuses on combating cardiovascular disease — the number-one killer of Americans today — by preventing, treating and studying heart disease, blood vessel disorders and stroke.
Pescovitz added the donations are a “transformational gift” that alters how an institution functions, unlike smaller gifts that may not have as much of a dramatic impact.
In addition to contributing to the Center, Samuel and Jean Frankel provided funding in 2005 to create the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies — the largest ever gift to LSA at the time.
“This is a family that really cares passionately about philanthropy and giving back,” Pescovitz said. “They pick areas where they believe that they can make a difference, both in the quality of life and in the quality of the community.”
She added that their gifts have transformed the University in the areas of health, culture and education.
Speaking on behalf of his family at the meeting, Stanley Frankel, the son of Samuel and Jean Frankel, said the center’s success should be attributed to the medical team.
“We say but don’t do much,” Frankel said. “We’re just the facilitators. The doors are the faculty and staff and leadership in the CVC, and that’s what’s important.”
Several administrators — including Jerry May, vice president of development — thanked the Frankel family at the meeting for their contributions.
“The Frankel family have added a great deal to the quality of education at the institution,” May said. “We are so honored and thankful for (their) legacy.”