TIMELESS TRIBUTE: W. Gerald Austen, MD,
and Patty Ribakoff, co-chairs of the Campaign
for the Third Century of Medicine, in front of the display
Donors have long been part of the fabric of the MGH, from the very first donation, which came in the form of a challenge grant. In 1797 William Phillips bequeathed $5,000 to the “Town of Boston” for a hospital. These funds were soon added to by his son, who donated his own money with one stipulation – that the $20,000 would be turned over only when an additional $100,000 was raised.
Since that time, countless visionaries have supported the MGH during its 200-year history. In an effort to permanently acknowledge the support of such donors, the MGH unveiled the Visionary Donor Wall Oct. 14. The six-panel glass display in the Main Lobby features the names of nearly 500 individuals, families, foundations and corporations that have made transformational gifts of $1 million or more since the hospital’s founding in 1811.
Donors in attendance were photographed in front of the wall display before moving to an evening reception in the Bulfinch Tent. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping us to pursue our mission with passion and vigor over the years,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, adding that the Visionary Donor Wall not only serves as a tribute to donors but also as an inspiration to patients and visitors in the years to come.
Other featured speakers of the evening were donors Don Gudaitis, CEO of the New England Division of the American Cancer Society; Tom Crohan, senior director, Corporate Responsibility at John Hancock Financial Services; Anne B. Young, MD, PhD, chief of Neurology; and grateful patient-donors John Bertucci and Jim Mooney. Each of the five donors shared personal reflections on the impact of the MGH. The recurring theme in each speech was the “nothing short of extraordinary” care the MGH has provided during its 200-year history.
Patty Ribakoff, MGH trustee and co-chair of the MGH Philanthropy Program, ended the evening with a poetic tribute to MGH donors: “If these walls could talk, they would say thank you.” Read Ribakoff's full tribute.
Read more articles from the 10/21/11 Hotline issue.