The University at Buffalo has secured a $10 million gift -- its largest single gift ever -- to support a new facility that will conduct research on heart and vascular disease.
Jeremy Jacobs and his wife, Peggy, made the gift in honor of Lawrence Jacobs, M.D., a medical pioneer in the neurology field, and the late brother of Jeremy Jacobs.
The gift funds the establishment of the Jacobs Institute, which will support retention and recruitment of researchers, educators and clinicians to the University at Buffalo and the Western New York community. The institute will be part of the planned center for heart and vascular research being developed by Kaleida Health on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
At a news conference announcing the gift Wednesday, Jacobs said the gift allows him to support his brother's longtime passion as well as invest in the future of Western New York and help grow a world-class medical center.
"My children may think of this as spending their inheritance," he said. "I think of it as investing in their future."
UB President John Simpson said he expects to see the money begin flowing in 2010 or 2011 when progress begins in earnest on the vascular center building. The gift should also help spur additional support from the community, he said.
"This is called setting the bar high," he said.
Jacobs is chairman and CEO of Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos. Inc., owner of the Boston Bruins hockey franchise and chairman of the UB Council. The gift is the single largest gift ever to UB and makes the Jacobs family the university's most generous donors, with total gifts totaling $18.4 million.
"Peggy and I are proud to give back to this community that has given us so much," Jacobs said.
At the time of his death, Lawrence Jacobs was chairman of UB's department of neurology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and chief of neurology at Buffalo General Hospital. His accomplishments include breakthroughs in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.