Medical school named after its new benefactor:
A $100 million gift from The Warren Alpert Foundation, a private philanthropy in Providence established by the founder of Warren Equities Inc., will help Brown University build a new medical school, add scholarships, hire faculty and support biomedical research.
The gift, the largest in the medical school’s history, was announced last week in conjunction with the renaming of the school as The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It brings the total raised by President Ruth J. Simmons’ “Campaign for Academic Enrichment” to $935 million; the goal is $1.4 billion.
“Warren Alpert and The Warren Alpert Foundation have made support for health care and biomedical research their top priority,” Simmons said in a news release. “With this extraordinary gift, the Alpert Foundation is not only supporting generations of talented young people who will enter medical careers, but is also improving the environment for medical care and research in the State of Rhode Island. Naming the medical school in honor of Mr. Alpert is a fitting tribute to his long-standing interest in excellence in medical care.”
The foundation, which is funded entirely by Alpert, focuses primarily on health care and has provided smaller grants to Brown in the past.
Alpert is a native New Englander and World War II veteran who started his own business, Warren Equities, in 1950. Last year, the company recorded more than $1.5 billion in revenue in 2005; it employs more than 2,100 people in 11 states through its Xtra Mart stores and businesses in transportation and real estate.
In 1986, Alpert created his foundation, which has funded scholarships, fellowships, biomedical research laboratories and clinical care facilities.
In an interview, Neil Steinberg, vice president for development at Brown, said Warren’s gift will bring many benefits to the school and the whole state.
“From an intangible point of view, there’s a significant amount of prestige to having a named medical school, because it shows support and gets wide recognition. And the graduates will carry this on with them,” he said. “But the tangible is that it actually takes us forward. It will enhance research, it will enhance faculty, and the building which will be built will be the home of the medical school and will be a focal point. And all of this benefits Providence and Rhode Island, too. It allows Brown to do more and to do it more quickly.”