George Washington University will be receiving an $80 million donation from philanthropists Michael Milken of the Milken Institute, and Sumner Redstone of CBS Corporation and Viacom. The amount is the largest the university has ever received.
Half of the $80 million, which is from Milken Institute, will be given in a span of five years in order to provide support for the school of public health. A sum of $30 million from Redstone will be covering the costs for establishing a center for wellness and prevention. The other $10 million from the Milken Family Foundation will be given throughout this year and next year to support the university’s public health dean.
Business tycoons Milken, 67, and Redstone, 90, have been friends for 30 years. According to Redstone, “We've been friends, not just business friends.” Both have built their own businesses and both are billionaires. Another experience that these men share is that they were both diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The two acknowledge changes in their diet and exercise as the reason why they are still alive. Milken said that they are focused on providing people in lower socioeconomic groups a lifestyle that will give them a better quality of life.This is the reason why they donated the $80 million to GWU.
The university is keen on targeting different conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. These chronic conditions are said to be responsible for over 75% of health care costs each year in the United States.
Milken and Redstone’s monetary contribution is said to be unique as the majority of the donations the university receives geared towards cure and treatment. This time, however, the donation will be towards changing behavior.
Lynn Goldman, a pediatrician and epidemiologist from GWU, said that the philanthropists’ contributions to the university will be an enormous boost for the institution.
Michael Milken talks about prostate cancer research
For more info on GW's Public Health Program, click here
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