Milestone Gift Funds Geisel Student Scholarships

The scholarship support that Tlalli Moya-Smith ’20 received while at Geisel is helping her pursue her goal of working with underserved communities.

A new $10 million gift commitment from a Dartmouth medical school alumnus is the third largest gift in the school’s history and the largest commitment received to date by the Geisel School of Medicine as part of The Call to Lead, Dartmouth’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Combined with a bequest commitment of approximately $1 million from a second alumnus, the gifts will add $11 million to the school’s scholarship endowment, significantly increasing financial aid for medical students.

The groundbreaking $10 million gift, to be fulfilled through a bequest, will provide scholarship support for medical students at Geisel based on their demonstrated financial aid need. “As I look back over a fulfilling and rewarding life, I consider my admission to the medical school at Dartmouth, and the supportive and humanistic teaching I received there, as perhaps the finest gift I have ever received,” says the first donor, who prefers to remain anonymous. He noted his particular interest in supporting students who hope to provide primary care, such as family medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, and internal medicine—specialties that encourage and enable physicians to care for people in their communities. “It is my hope that future graduates will one day no longer be burdened by student debt as they begin their professional careers,” he says.

Together with the bequest commitment from alumnus Ted Gasteyer D’54, MED’55, the two gifts advance progress toward Geisel’s campaign goal of raising $20 million in new scholarship support for medical students. Gasteyer was in general practice and internal medicine for nearly 40 years before retiring in 1997. Like many of his classmates, he has been a long-time supporter of the medical school. “I hope my gift will encourage the development of the next generation of primary care physicians,” Gasteyer says.

When received, these gifts will establish endowments that together are expected to provide more than $500,000 a year in additional scholarship aid to Geisel students—a nearly 15 percent increase in the total amount available today. As the endowments grow over time, so, too, will their annual distributions.

“These incredible commitments will make a Dartmouth medical education possible for more students with financial need and reduce the debt burden that so many of our students graduate with,” says Duane Compton, dean of Geisel. “Reducing this debt is a top priority because it helps ensure that students’ choice of medical specialty is driven by their passions and desire to serve, and not by earning potential.”

These philanthropic commitments come at a time when Dartmouth is doubling down on its long-standing dedication to ensuring affordability for all students through financial aid. In response to the current economic crisis and increasing student need, the College recently reaffirmed its campaign goal to secure $500 million in endowed funds to support graduate and undergraduate students.