A multi-million dollar gift from one of Rochester’s hometown entrepreneurs promises to launch the Medical Center’s neuromedicine program into a nationally recognized, comprehensive center for investigating and treating neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and trauma to the brain and spinal cord.
Ernest J. Del Monte (pictured at right with his wife, Thelma), chairman of E.J. Del Monte Corporation, a Rochester-based company that owns and operates 17 hotels in New York State, chose to make the gift with his wife after getting to know neuromedicine leaders at the Medical Center. At a news conference today, Del Monte said that his family’s $10 million gift is the first installment toward what he hopes will amount to a $20 million commitment to the Institute over time. At $10 million, the Del Monte contribution is the second largest gift in the history of the Medical Center.
“Neuromedicine is one of the most promising endeavors that the University has undertaken,” Del Monte said. “We have all the necessary ingredients to be successful internationally. My hope is that this gift will be the force to help scientists and clinicians collaborate seamlessly so that one day, from this Institute, the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other neurological disorders will emerge. I truly believe we can do it.”
“The University of Rochester is deeply indebted to Mr. Del Monte for his extraordinary generosity,” said University President Joel Seligman. “Ernie and Thelma’s gift is potentially transformative. The Medical Center has long been among the nation’s leaders in neuroscience, but this gift will allow us to amplify our federal research funding, teaching, and clinical programs for those suffering from some of today’s most debilitating illnesses, conditions that will afflict even more of us in the decades to come.”
“With the Del Montes’ gift, URMC can create an environment that maximizes our current strengths and attracts other leaders in the field of neuromedicine to Rochester,” said Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk. Read more...