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$100 million donation from Marnix and Mary Heersink to University earns naming rights of medical school
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$100 million donation from Marnix and Mary Heersink to University earns naming rights of medical school

Longtime University of Alabama at Birmingham supporter Marnix E. Heersink, M.D., committed an additional $5 million to his transformational $95 million gift that named the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine earlier, bringing the total naming gift to $100 million.

The gift, which also named the Marnix E. Heersink Institute of Biomedical Innovation and the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health, is the single largest philanthropic commitment in university history.

“The initial Heersink gift has been transformational in expanding our ability to improve and save lives at home and around the world, and this generous additional investment will build on our unprecedented momentum in profound ways,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts.

“The new gift will target a variety of programs for immediate investment, including strategic recruitment efforts, and it will bolster our Research Strategic Initiative – Growth With Purpose, which is establishing a road map to multiply the positive impact our research enterprise has on people and help us reach $1 billion in research expenditures.”

The Heersink naming gift will ultimately support the creation of as many as 20 new endowed positions to enhance the recruitment of elite faculty. In the first year of the gift alone, the Heersink School of Medicine established and awarded five Heersink Endowed Chairs and one Heersink Endowed Professorship.

“We are deeply grateful for Dr. Heersink’s continued support of our school,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine. “His initial naming gift has already opened many new avenues of growth for us.

With this new gift commitment, we will be able to pursue excellence across our mission areas of medical education, clinical care, and biomedical research, with the ultimate goal of improving the health and well-being of all those who come to us for care.”

Heersink is a Dothan, Alabama, eye surgeon, innovator and entrepreneur, and he has served on the executive boards of the Alabama/Florida Council of Boy Scouts and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, among many other philanthropic activities.

His wife, Mary Heersink, is a longtime member of the Heersink School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors, as well as the Advisory Board of the Master of Science in Global Health Program, a joint initiative among McMaster University in Canada, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Manipal University in India and Thomassat University in Thailand.

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