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$52 million from Leonard Lauder to Hunter College, its largest gift ever
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$52 million from Leonard Lauder to Hunter College, its largest gift ever

Hunter College of the City University of New York announced today that it had received the largest gift in its history – a $52 million donation from billionaire philanthropist Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

The gift, made in honor of Mr. Lauder’s late wife Evelyn Lauder, who was a Hunter College alumna, will be used to establish the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Hunter College.

“Evelyn Lauder was an extraordinary person who lived the Hunter motto, mihi cure future—the care of the future is mine. I was proud to have called her a dear friend,” said Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College, in the college’s news release.

“She epitomized generations of hardworking Hunter students who used their gifts to help others. We are honored to establish the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program, which will transform the lives of our nursing students, and, working with New York Health + Hospitals, bring expanded access and excellence in healthcare to all New Yorkers. Leonard Lauder has our deepest thanks for this groundbreaking gift to a public institution and his trusted counsel through the years.”

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are increasingly vital health care professionals who serve in a variety of roles in many communities and clinical settings. They deliver, supervise, and manage many aspects of medical care, from making diagnoses to treating illnesses and prescribing medications. Nurse practitioners are also frequently employed in key leadership posts where they administer clinics and treatment teams, often in underserved communities.

The gift will be used to develop and expand Hunter’s current nurse practitioner master’s degree program in three ways.

First, it will help support a new cohort of students. Beginning in 2023, 25 students per year will be selected as Evelyn Lauder Nurse Practitioner Fellows. Each student will receive a $30,000 stipend to help cover the cost of education and living expenses. The recipients will be training as NPs in the Adult Gerontology and Psychiatric-Mental Health programs, who, in exchange for the stipend support, commit to work in the hospitals and clinics of New York City Health + Hospitals.

Second, the funds will support the hiring of new faculty and administrators. Included in that support will be endowments for two new chairs – the Evelyn Lauder Chairs in Adult Gerontology and Psychiatric-Mental Health. In addition, a new Evelyn Lauder Associate Dean for Nurse Practitioner Programs will be hired to lead the program along with a Director of Clinical Placements and Health + Hospitals (H+H) Partnerships, who will oversee the clinical experiences for Hunter’s NP students. Additional faculty will also be appointed.

Third, the funds will be used to enhance technology and equipment, including dedicated laboratory space, simulation resources and state-of-the-art examination rooms that mimic the clinical setting where NPs work. A new Chief Technician of the Clinical Learning Lab who will assist with clinical training and simulation operations will also be hired.

About his gift, Mr. Lauder said, “New York City has meant the world to my family—my parents and grandparents made their lives here—and to me, and Hunter is part of our New York City story. My wife Evelyn loved Hunter and was proud to support the College throughout her life, and I honor her with this gift, to support the education of nurse practitioners who will be leaders in advancing the health of New Yorkers. I am very pleased to congratulate President Raab on her leadership and thank her for her unwavering commitment to helping every Hunter student achieve success.”

Mr. Lauder also made a previous $10 million gift to the Hunter College School of Nursing in 2015.

The Lauder family have been great supporters of Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence for 50 years.

Mr. Leonard Lauder’s brother Ronald Lauder is a distinguished member of the board of our publication for over three decades.

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