Elsewhere online
January 26, 2016

Naming Rights a Growing Topic of Talk at Harvard Medical School

The possibility that Harvard University could rename its prestigious medical school for a sufficiently large gift is the subject of widespread discussion among faculty and officials, according to Stat, a news website covering the health industry. 

Breaking with campus tradition, Harvard rechristened its school of public health in 2014 in return for a $350 million donation from Hong Kong businessmen Ronnie and Gerald Chan. That fueled speculation that the medical school itself, which has run chronic deficits in recent years, could seek a much larger naming gift.

The prospect has produced both trepidation and enthusiasm in the Harvard community, as well as estimates that such a gift could reach up to $1 billion. "It’s the greatest naming right opportunity in all of worldwide education," said Josh Boger, a former pharmaceuticals executive who sits on the Harvard Medical School board. Several major universities, including Brown, Penn State, and UCLA, have renamed their medical schools for nine-figure donors.