Alfred Taubman, the philanthropist and namesake of the University’s Medical Research Institute, has announced his intent to bequeath $22 million to the University’s Medical School at a stem cell symposium on campus.
The vow came at a stem cell symposium yesterday on campus, one year after Taubman gave a separate $22 million donation for the new research institution, the goal of which is to research and treat human disease. Yesterday’s bequest is slated to finance future research by Taubman Scholars.
Just before announcing his bequest — a gift that is given upon the death of the donor — Taubman stressed the importance of passing Proposal 2, a November ballot initiative that would allow Michigan researchers access to stem cells extracted from excess embryos at fertility clinics.
“On November 4th, we have an opportunity to quicken the pace of this medical discovery,” he said. “With your vote, we can guarantee that this state’s best scientists stay in Michigan.”
Kara Gavin, spokeswoman for the University Health System, said Taubman’s gift would fund other research projects besides stem cell research.
Near the end of the symposium, the Institute’s first major event, Taubman, 84, presented a crystal plaque to James Battey, the event’s keynote speaker and vice chairman of the National Institutes of Health’s Stem Cell Task Force.
The $22 million gift combined with Taubman’s past contributions to the University total more than $80 million. He gave a $30 million donation to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, which is named after him, in 1999.
Taubman’s $22 million donation and $22 million bequest to the Medical Research Institute mark two of the largest gifts in University history. Other notable contributions include Stephen Ross’s $100 million donation to the Ross School of Business in 2004, which remains the largest single donation to the University; a $25 million donation to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in 2005; and an anonymous $25 million gift to the Cardiovascular Center in 2007.
Taubman Scholars are regularly selected from University Medical School faculty. There are currently five Scholars, each receiving $200,000 per year for three years to fund their research.