FAU SCHMIDT COLLEGE OF MEDICINE HONORS DONORS AT CEREMONY
Florida Atlantic University recently commemorated the 20-year anniversary of a transformational gift of $15 million from the Boca Raton-based Schmidt Family Foundation. The gift, which was matched by the state of Florida, created the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science in 1998 and launched the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, which admitted its inaugural class of 64 students in 2011.
FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine recently hosted a special dedication ceremony and reception at the medical school in Boca Raton to celebrate this major milestone and to honor benefactors Barbara and Richard Schmidt, along with philanthropists Lisa and Michael Kaufman, and Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.Ph.H., the first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor in FAU’s medical school, for their recent gifts to the college.
“Today we celebrate the 20-year anniversary of this transformational gift and pay tribute to Barbara and Dick Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation,” said Phillip M. Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “Their decades of generous and thoughtful commitment to the success of our college has inspired many others throughout our community. We are very grateful to Lisa and Mike Kaufman and Charlie Hennekens for continuing this tradition of philanthropy with their generous gifts that will benefit our students, faculty, staff, and community for years to come.”
The Kaufman’s gift of $250,000 will name the “Lisa and Michael Kaufman College of Medicine Lounge,” located on the first floor of the medical school’s main building. The space will provide the college with an engaging environment that will foster collaboration and community building.
“Lisa and I are very proud of our affiliation with Florida Atlantic University and the Schmidt College of Medicine,” said Kaufman, a member of FAU’s medical school advisory board. “We are truly committed to supporting this university and building an infrastructure that will continue to propel Palm Beach County’s first and only medical school to even greater heights.”
Hennekens’ gift of $200,000 will name the “Hennekens Library and Technology Hub in Honor of Sarah K. Wood, M.D.” This state-of-the-art center will provide medical students with an innovative library and technology resource they need to succeed as future doctors. Hennekens serves as a mentor to Wood, who is now the senior associate dean for medical education in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
“Serving as a mentor to aspiring physicians and scientists has been a highlight of my career as a physician and scientist. I am extremely proud to make this gift in honor of my former medical student and mentee, Sarah Wood,” said Hennekens. “Sarah embodies the outstanding professional and personal qualities that nurture competence and compassion in our outstanding medical students. We are very fortunate to have Sarah, who works in collaboration with many other outstanding faculty members in the Schmidt College of Medicine, as our senior associate dean for medical education.”
Since its inception in 2011, the Schmidt College of Medicine has been recognized nationally for its innovative undergraduate medical education curriculum, which has inspired other medical educators around the country. As a community-based medical school, local physicians and leading hospitals in South Florida have joined forces with the college to mentor students and train and retain physicians in this region. In June 2014, the medical school, together with its five hospital partners in Palm Beach County, launched the first medical residency in internal medicine. Today, university-sponsored medical residencies in the college include internal medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, and neurology as well as a cardiology fellowship. Additional residencies will be added as needed.
In addition to its innovative educational programs, FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine is at the forefront of biomedical research. Designed with the community’s needs in mind, and in alignment with the strategic goals of FAU, research in the college is focused on healthy aging and geriatrics, neuroscience, chronic pain management and opioid use disorder, and genomics and precision medicine.
More than 100 distinguished guests attended the dedication ceremony and reception along with the Schmidts, including FAU President John Kelly; Anthony Barbar, chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees; Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D., chair of the medical school’s advisory board and a member of FAU’s Board of Trustees; Dwight W. Warren, Ph.D., founding dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science; Ira J. Gelb, M.D., senior academic advisor of pre-baccalaureate programs, professor of integrated medical science and director emeritus of cardiology in FAU’s medical school; Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs and admissions in FAU’s medical school; and Elizabeth Markowitz, among others.