Morehouse School of Medicine, one of America’s most prestigious Black colleges, announced Thursday it has received $26.3 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and will use the money to reduce medical school loan debt for students currently enrolled.
Each student at the Atlanta-based school will receive approximately $100,000.
The charitable organization is donating $100 million to a fund for students attending the nation’s four historically Black medical schools: Morehouse in Atlanta, Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine in Los Angeles, Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and Meharry Medical College in Nashville over the next four years.
Morehouse School of Medicine’s President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice said the “historic investment” will “lift the crushing burden of student debt and empower our graduates to take on the systemic racial inequalities and injustice that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“These dollars will help free up future doctors to immediately head to the front lines and save Black lives while also improving healthcare access, equity, and quality for everyone,” she continued.
Historically Black colleges and universities have received less money from major donors and philanthropic organizations, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, though it added that “some schools have received large donations in recent months in response to nationwide protests against systemic racism.”
Last year, billionaire Robert Smith, the keynote speaker at Morehouse College’s commencement ceremony, announced a grant that would wipe out the student debt of the entire 2019 graduating class.
The surprise gift in front of nearly 400 graduating seniors was estimated to be worth about $40 million.
“My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans,” Smith said. “You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity.”