Personal Giving Stories
We fell in love with each other and with pediatrics while attending the College of Medicine. We were married in December of 1950 and graduated from the College in June of 1951. We're both very grateful to the College for bringing us together—a U.S. Air Force radio operator who enrolled on the G.I. Bill and a native of Czechoslovakia who received academic scholarships despite knowing no English when her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1946—and for preparing us for such a fulfilling career.
The College had one of the best pediatric departments in the country while we were students, and we were strongly influenced to become pediatricians ourselves by three wonderful teachers: Henry Poncher, M.D.; Julius Richmond, M.D., the surgeon general in President Jimmy Carter's administration; and Morris Green, M.D. They seemed to love their work as much as we came to love it ourselves.
After finishing medical school and completing our residencies, we opened a pediatric practice in 1954 in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Working side by side for more than 40 years, we treated thousands of patients. We took great pleasure in our exchanges with parents and watching their children grow up.
We treated hundreds of second-generation patients and even a few third-generation patients before retiring. Today, we cherish the warm response and hugs we receive from former patients as we go around the neighborhood.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have received financial assistance in medical school from the G.I. Bill and scholarships. We decided to make an estate gift of $100,000 to the College of Medicine to support student scholarships. We hope our gift will help future students defray part of the cost of medical school and make it easier to go on to fulfilling careers in medicine—like the ones that the College of Medicine made possible for us. We encourage you to consider a similar gift to help prepare future generations of physicians.
Herbert Lerner, M.D.'51, and Ruth G. Lerner, M.D. '51
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