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Want to put your name on a medical school? More universities — including top-tiered Dartmouth, Cornell, and the University of Chicago — are making that possible in return for big-ticket gifts.

The number of medical schools named after donors has shot up from 15 to at least 26 in the past seven years, according to Dr. Jay Loeffler, a professor at Harvard Medical School who published two articles on the subject. In the past two decades, donors have paid between $8 million and $225 million to name a range of public and private medical schools. And now Harvard faculty members are discussing selling that medical school’s naming rights for as much as $1 billion.

Here are six donations that prompted name changes.


• $225 million, Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania (2011)

Donor: Ruth Perelman and her husband Raymond, founder of RGP Holdings, which owns manufacturing, mining, and financial businesses.

• $200 million, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (2002)

Donor: David Geffen, film producer, founder of Asylum Records and Geffen Records.


• $100 million, Alpert Medical School at Brown University (2007)

Donor: Warren Alpert, founder of Warren Equities, which markets petroleum and operates XtraMart convenience stores.

• $50 million, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (2007)

Donor: Paul L. Foster, chairman and CEO of Western Refining, a Texas-based crude oil refiner.

• $20 million, Sanford School of Medicine at University of South Dakota (2005)

Donor: T. Denny Sanford, South Dakota credit and banking mogul.

• $8 million, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (1999)

Donor: The Brody Family, of Brody’s department stores and Brody Brothers Dry Goods in North Carolina.