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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1996, Vol.16, No.3
Profiles In Giving:Rudin Scholars Legacy: One Family's Kindness Goes a Long Way

By Peter Wortsman

In 1970, seven medical students and nine nursing students of exceptional promise and demonstrated financial need benefited from one family's faith in their future. All 16 have gone on to successful careers in health care.

Since then, the Rudin Scholars Program has provided annual support, helping countless young people allay financial worries to pursue their dream of caring for others. P&S celebrated the Rudin family legacy and commitment to education in the health care professions at a reception in the P&S Faculty Club May 7.

Health is a Rudin family tradition. The late Samuel Rudin, a leading New York realtor and builder, may not have leaped tall buildings in a single bound, but he built them and sustained his zest for life in long-distance running. He also was one of the first business sponsors of the New York City Marathon. For many years, his widow, the late May Rudin, personally presented the Samuel Rudin Trophy to the first man and woman to cross the finish line. Their son, Jack, still officiates as chairman of the Marathon Committee.

Dean Herbert Pardes, left, and Jack Rudin

Jack and his brother, Lewis, continue to carry the torch of the Rudins' wide-ranging philanthropy. The family's commitment to a panoply of institutions vital to the life of the great city they helped build is the stuff of New York legend.

Among the causes closest to their heart, the Rudin Scholars Program at Columbia is jointly funded by the Louis and Rachel Rudin Foundation and the Samuel and May Rudin Foundation. Spearheaded by former P&S Dean Paul A. Marks'49 with the instrumental participation of long-time Rudin family physician and clinical professor of medicine Jay I. Meltzer'53, the program has flourished under subsequent administrations.

Dean Herbert Pardes calls the Rudin Scholars Program "a jewel in the crown of our financial aid effort. It's a special vote of confidence that comes through loud and clear to every single recipient. We count ourselves lucky to have the Rudin family as part of the P&S family."

Such caring is infectious. One of the original Rudin Scholars, David N. Tornberg'73, an orthopedic surgeon in private practice based in Newport News, Va., returned the largess in kind by endowing a scholarship in his own name at P&S. "There are a few people who made a big difference in my life at crucial junctures," recalls Dr. Tornberg. "I'm thinking of course of my family and certain professors, and I count the Rudins among them." Cognizant of what they did for him, he said, "I wanted to know that there was someone out there whom I was able to help as I had been helped."

Now in its 26th year at Columbia, the Rudin Scholars Program continues to support and inspire the best of tomorrow's young health care professionals.

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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