BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An eye surgeon is donating $95 million to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s medical school in what officials say is the single largest philanthropic pledge in the university’s history.
University trustees announced the gift from Dr. Marnix Heersink on Tuesday.
The university says the medical school will be named for Heersink, and the money will be used to establish global health and biomedical innovation institutes. An additional $5 million is being contributed by Triton Health Systems, bringing the total pledge to $100 million.
“From my perspective, this is one of the most thrilling days of my life. And to be able to be part of something magical that’s only going to get better is, for me, just unbelievable,” Dr. Heersink said. “One of my dreams of my life has come true.”
Heersink, a cataract and laser refractive surgeon, is co-owner and chairman of Eye Center South in Dothan, Alabama, a medical practice with 12 offices in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.