UVM receives record $19.7M donation


College of Medicine Dean Frederick Morin said the Larners’ generosity gives the medical school more latitude to invest in programs where costs may have been prohibitive.

“We will use this gift to embrace the technology and techniques of the future and be second to none in medical education in national and international perception,” Morin said.

Robert Larner, 98, and Helen, 96, did not attend Friday’s announcement. Robert, the son of a roofer, grew up in Burlington’s Old North End. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UVM in 1939 and graduated from the UVM Medical School in 1942.

Larner built a successful medical practice in Los Angeles during World War II. The couple has given to UVM since 1985.

Previous gifts include five cardiopulmonary simulators, money to build a team-based learning classroom and an endowed professorship.

Medical students Bryce Bludevich and Stefan Wheat said they and their classmates have benefited from the Larner’s philanthropy. Wheat said the team classroom helps students gain workplace experience before graduating.

“It’s teaching you what your career will be like, once you become a physician,” Wheat said.

Bludevich, who grew up in Colchester, said Robert Larner embodies the best qualities of a Vermonter who gives back to his community and alma mater.

“He exemplifies the type of student who goes to UVM,” Bludevich said. “The community we want to build is a tight-knit one.”

The Larners’ gift helps the UVM Foundation toward the group’s ambitious goal of raising $500 million in four years. Since launching the Move Mountains campaign in October, the foundation has raised $296.5 million.

UVM Foundation CEO Richard Bundy said the philanthropy campaign is ahead of schedule.

The Larner donation was the first of two major gift announcements UVM made Friday. The university scheduled a Monday news conference with Sullivan and Sen. Patrick Leahy to unveil a massive grant to fund Lake Champlain research.

Source: Burlington Free Press

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