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Jacobs Family Makes Historic $30 Million Gift to UB Medical School

School to be Named Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Jeremy M. Jacobs is joined by UB medical students at a press conference announcing a $30 million gift his family has made to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Published September 14, 2015

Jeremy M. Jacobs, his wife, Margaret, and their family have given $30 million to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which will be named for them in recognition of their long-standing service and philanthropy to UB.

“This very generous gift adds to the exciting momentum within the medical school that has attracted top talent and new resources to Buffalo over the past several years.”
Vice president for health sciences and medical school dean

The school will be named the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the first naming of a UB school in university history.

Impressed with School’s Strides in Patient Treatments

One of Western New York’s most dedicated philanthropists and a longtime UB supporter, Jacobs is chairman of the global hospitality and food service company Delaware North.

In making the historic gift, he and his family were inspired by the medical school’s key role in advancing new patient treatments and realizing the full potential of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

“My family is honored to make this investment in the community,” he said.

Gift Supports Education, Research, Construction

The Jacobs’ gift, which comes as the medical school is undergoing an ambitious period of expansion, will support priority initiatives including:

  • the creation of innovative medical education and research programs
  • student scholarships
  • construction of the state-of-the-art medical school building in downtown Buffalo, to be completed in 2017

“This very generous gift adds to the exciting momentum within the medical school that has attracted top talent and new resources to Buffalo over the past several years,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and medical school dean.

“It will help the medical school continue to recruit the very best faculty, students and clinicians whose knowledge and expertise are advancing patient care in our community.”

“The gift will also enhance our collaborations with Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus hospitals and research institutions, and build even further on our legacy of pioneering medical research and treatments.”

Pleased to Contribute to School’s Move Downtown

Jacobs credits his late brother, Lawrence Jacobs, MD — a longtime chair of UB’s Department of Neurology and a world-renowned multiple sclerosis researcher — for teaching him about the important, centralized role of schools of medicine in medical communities.

“I learned from my brother that a career in medicine is one of lifelong learning and teaching, which is why I’m enthusiastic about moving the medical school to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” he said.

“It will be the nexus for researchers, physicians and students, and we look forward to Western New York becoming a world-class destination for health care.”

In addition to serving as chairman of Delaware North, Jacobs owns the Boston Bruins and chairs the National Hockey League’s board of governors.

School Naming a ‘Great Distinction,’ says UB President

In announcing the medical school’s name — the first school-naming in UB’s 169-year history — UB President Satish K. Tripathi said: “It is truly fitting that UB’s founding school would have this great distinction.”

“It is equally fitting that it should bear the name of an individual and a family who truly embody the vision that has guided our university for the better part of two centuries,” he added.

“No one could ask for a greater champion or a greater friend to UB than Jeremy Jacobs and the Jacobs family have been over the years. We are honored to have this opportunity to recognize that great generosity in this meaningful and lasting way.”

Cain described the naming of the medical school as “perhaps the greatest tribute a university can make to honor extraordinary generosity and commitment.”

“Mr. Jacobs and the Jacobs family are deeply deserving of that distinction in recognition of a lifetime of generosity and commitment to the university and the medical school,” he said.

Family’s UB Donations Exceed $50 Million

With the medical school gift, the Jacobs family’s giving to UB totals more than $50 million, making them one of the university’s most generous benefactors.

Their gift is the largest to the medical school’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, bringing it to $160 million of its $200 million goal.

Jacobs co-chairs the medical school’s fundraising committee with Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for health policy, and Robert Wilmers, chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank.

Chair of UB Council Since 1998

Jacobs has served as chairman of the UB Council since 1998 and has provided invaluable service to the university over three decades, spanning the tenures of five UB presidents.

From 1980-1987, he served as chair of the UB Foundation.

He has also served as an adviser to the UB School of Management.

Family’s Giving Funds Scholarships, Other UB Initiatives

The Jacobs family has funded scholarships for exceptional undergraduates in the UB Honors College, provided financial aid to female student-athletes, funded academic chairs and created flexible funds for innovation and special needs.

In the mid-1980s, the Jacobs family supported a UB School of Management MBA program in China, the first academic partnership between an American university and that country.

A School of Management building bears the Jacobs name in honor of the family’s long-standing generosity.

In 2001, the family donated the Butler Mansion, an architectural landmark, to UB. It was renamed the Jacobs Executive Development Center.