Chancellor and Husband’s Historic Gift to Student Support Inspires Bernadetts
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, and her husband, Nicholas Hellmann, MD, recently made an extraordinary gift to the campus: $1 million for professional student scholarships to be divided four ways between the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy.
Each of the schools will receive $250,000 upon securing a matching gift of $250,000, creating the first Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarships at UCSF. Inspired by the Hellmanns' commitment to student support, UCSF Foundation Board member Faustino (Tino) Bernadett Jr., MD '80, and his wife Martha Molina Bernadett, MD, quickly stepped up and matched their gift for the School of Medicine.
"The Hellmanns are dedicated to leaping ahead," says Martha. “When you meet people like that, you want to help."
The largest donation ever to be received from a past or present UCSF chancellor was motivated by the campus’s new educational fundraising priority.
"I have a particular fondness for UCSF's educational mission because that’s what brought me here in the first place," says Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who came to UCSF as an intern in 1982. "I knew that I had landed at just the place I wanted to be: one committed to training the very best health care providers and researchers, but doing it in an amazingly warm and nurturing environment."
She continues, "I've seen a lot of academic institutions since then, but I've never seen another training environment that matched the one I found here. I am determined to do what I can to preserve that special culture and, in some key ways, make it even better."
Nick Hellmann, who met his wife while they were both residents at UCSF, says, "We want to help UCSF continue its leadership and excellence in professional education, and inspire other alumni and friends to support our students."
The Bernadetts have donated generously to the school for years. This new gift will support students who are Spanish-speaking and enrolled in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US). "These scholarships will offer hope to students," says Tino. "We're not just giving money; we're giving hope."
The generosity of these four physicians will make a significant difference as the California state budget cuts catapult tuition and fees, says Sam Hawgood, MBBS, dean of the School of Medicine. Tuition and fees for California residents have risen 10 percent to $33,622 in 2012. "We are extremely thankful to Sue and Nick, and Tino and Martha, for opening the doors of opportunity for deserving students," he says.