Powered by a strong connection to their alma mater – and inspired by the student-focused initiatives of the We’re Changing Medicine campaign – Weill Cornell Medicine alumni are affirming their enthusiasm with remarkable engagement and philanthropy.
Weill Cornell Medicine graduates have contributed more than $13 million in the past year, many citing the debt-free financial aid program and the new student residence as motivating factors for their extraordinary support.
Inspired by the leadership of Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean – and with gratitude to Weill Cornell Medicine – the Su family recently made two gifts totaling $6.25 million in support of the new student residence, set to begin construction in this academic year.
With a gift of $1.25 million, Dr. Karen Lin Su (M.D. ’97) and Dr. Edwin Su (M.D. ’97) will name the Sky Lounge Lobby on the building’s 16th floor, and with an additional gift of $5 million – from Karen and Ed, along with Ed’s three siblings – the family will name the adjoining Sky Lounge/Roof Terrace in honor of Ed’s parents, Dr. Philip C. Su and Wen-Huey L. Su. Ed’s late father, Dr. Philip C. Su, was a prominent neurologist who inspired two of his children to pursue careers in medicine.
To Ed, a professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery, and his wife, Karen, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine feels almost like a second home. The couple met as students at the medical college, stayed on for their residencies and fellowships, and have remained actively involved at the institution beyond their roles as faculty members.
Karen, a pediatric endocrinologist, is a leader of the class of 1997 and will moderate a panel discussion at this year’s Reunion weekend, which will be held on campus for the first time since the start of the pandemic; Ed, an orthopedic surgeon, is also a class leader, treasurer of the Alumni Association, chair of the Alumni Association Fundraising Committee and a member of the Campaign Executive Committee of the Board of Fellows.
“By raising funds for education and research, and with improved physical facilities, Weill Cornell Medicine will fortify its position among top-tier academic medical institutions by attracting talented clinical faculty, cutting-edge researchers and the very best medical students,’’ says Ed.
“The campaign will allow Weill Cornell Medicine to improve patient care, make a global impact on research and train our future doctors and leaders – while improving students’ experience with the debt-free initiative and the new student residence,’’ says Karen. “Weill Cornell Medicine provided us with such amazing careers – and lives – and it means so much to us.”
Like the Sus, many alumni are directing their campaign support to the new student residence, which offers Weill Cornell Medicine graduates a reduced rate for naming spaces within the building. The chance to contribute to the new residence is a “once-in-a-lifetime,’’ says Ed, who credits the Board of Fellows for giving alumni incentives to participate in this historic project.
“Ed and Karen’s gifts are so befitting, given their commitment to the campaign, and we can’t thank them and their family enough for their generosity and dedication to our students. It’s this sort of leadership that inspires the level of alumni support we are receiving,” says Dean Choi. “Every gift, at every level, moves us closer to our ambitious goals.”
Dr. Natasha Leibel (M.D. ’98), former president of the Alumni Association, and her husband, Dr. Harlan Levine (M.D. ’98), recently made a gift to name a study nook on the lobby level of the new building. Dr. Jian Shen (M.D., Ph.D. ’02) made a $2 million gift in support of the residence to name the yoga and dance studio and two huddle rooms in honor of his Weill Cornell Medicine mentors And the class of 1974 has made a group gift to name a music room, inspired by a beloved professor.
“Alumni represent the very best of who we are, and they carry our mission with them throughout their careers,”’ says Jessica M. Bibliowicz, chairman of the Board of Fellows. “Their dedication to Weill Cornell Medicine is a true testament to the strength of our educational experience, and we are incredibly grateful for their enthusiastic support.”