Personal Giving Stories



Photo of Dr. Howard Hecht and his wife Gloria “I’m very fortunate to be in a position to contribute from my IRA to fund this scholarship, and my hope is that other alumni with the means will help students attain the same top-notch education that we received.” —Howard Hecht (BS ’56, MD ’58)

Dr. Howard Hecht returned to UIC in 2008 to celebrate his 50th reunion alongside fellow alumni from the College of Medicine. While speaking with a group of current medical students, he was shocked to learn that in-state tuition was now around $35,000.

“When I went to school, tuition cost only $100 or $200 a year,” recalls Dr. Hecht. “Luckily, I was awarded a partial scholarship, which helped me get through school without any debt … oftentimes nowadays the debt students come out of school with is quite large,” he notes.

Dr. Hecht never wants a student to miss the opportunities he enjoyed while in school, especially due to finances. This is what motivated him and his wife Gloria to establish the Gloria and Howard Hecht Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“UIC prepared me for the real world by providing hands-on experience at the Illinois Research Hospital and Cook County Hospital,” he recalls. Dr. Hecht began practicing medicine in 1963, marking the beginning of a successful, 50-year career in orthopedic surgery—a career that has given him joy, fulfillment, and purpose.

“I’ve always felt a sense of obligation and gratefulness to UIC,” said Dr. Hecht. “They gave me a terrific education, and it’s because of this institution that I was able to have a very fulfilling career … so I just wanted to give something back,” he concludes.



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