Cedars-Sinai Lands $170 Million From 2 Donors, Including Hollywood Producer Chuck Lorre
Cedars Sinai Medical Center received two big gifts of major donors. The late Susanne Bard left Cedars $140 million to support patient care and research programs in the building that houses the Smidt Heart Institute and the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center, and the Hollywood film and television producer and writer Chuck Lorre gave the medical center $30 million through his Chuck Lorre Family Foundation to establish the Chuck Lorre School of Allied Health.
Plus, best-selling authors James and Susan Patterson gave $5 million to bolster the teaching workforce in Wisconsin, and two higher education institutions and a Baltimore area healthcare system all received big gifts.
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A roundup of notable gifts compiled by the Chronicle:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
The Los Angeles medical center received two big gifts from major donors. Susanne Bard left Cedars $140 million to support patient care and research programs in the building that houses the Smidt Heart Institute and the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center. The building has been renamed the Susanne and Ervin Bard Pavilion. The couple were real-estate investors in the Los Angeles area, and Susanne Bard was a longtime volunteer at the medical center. She died in 2021; and Ervin Bard died in 2006.
In addition, the Hollywood film and television producer and writer Chuck Lorre gave the medical center $30 million through his Chuck Lorre Family Foundation to establish the Chuck Lorre School of Allied Health. The new school will offer programs in six areas that are chronically understaffed at most hospitals: respiratory therapy, pharmacy technician training, clinical laboratory science, MRI technology, radiologic technology, and echocardiographic technology.
Officials said in a news release that the new school is seeking to train people from underrepresented backgrounds for those jobs. The school’s immersive programs will range from six to 24 months and will be held in-person and online. Students will receive pay while they train with Cedars-Sinai medical staff, and students who are already employed by the medical center will receive help in coordinating their schedules with their existing departments so they can attend the programs.
Dennis and Mandy Weinman gave the health care system $5 million to help build a new cancer building on the campus of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, which will be named for the donors and will bring together all of the hospital’s ambulatory cancer services in one location.
Dennis Weinman is president of the Weinman Company, a Baltimore-area real-estate development and management firm that his family founded in 1907. He serves on the Board of Directors of both LifeBridge Health and Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. The Weinmans said in a news release that the gift was inspired by the “compassionate care” that Dennis Weinman’s grandmother received at Sinai Hospital several years ago.
University of Wisconsin at Madison
James and Susan Patterson gave $5 million to expand the UW-Madison School of Education’s Wisconsin Teacher Pledge program, which is focused on bolstering Wisconsin’s teacher workforce. The program pays the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing, and licensing costs for students enrolled in one of the education school’s teacher-preparation programs. In return, graduates pledge to teach for three or four years at a prekindergarten-through-12th-grade school in Wisconsin.
The couple are both bestselling authors. James Patterson has written dozens of popular fiction titles as well as children’s and nonfiction books. Susan Patterson started her career working in advertising at the J. Walter Thompson Company and went on to write with her husband the children’s book Big Words for Little Geniuses and a soon-to-be-released novel, Things I Wish I Told My Mother. She is an alumna of the UW-Madison School of Education. She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree there in 1979 and 1982, respectively.
The Pattersons are the children of teachers. Her mother was a professor of nursing at the university, and James Patterson’s mother was a middle-school teacher. They have given extensively to literacy and education programs over the years.
University of California at Los Angeles
Elizabeth and Richard Riordan pledged $3 million through their Riordan Foundation to bolster the Riordan Programs at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, an effort the Riordans co-founded in 1987 with William Ouchi, at the time a UCLA Anderson professor.
The program includes mentorship, workshops, and other training through three different tracks: the Riordan Scholars, a mentoring effort for high-school students preparing to enter college; the Riordan MBA Fellows, which helps recent college graduates who are considering pursuing an MBA; and the Riordan College-to-Career Program for first-generation college students seeking internships and careers in management.
Richard Riordan is a retired lawyer and investor who served two consecutive terms as mayor of Los Angeles from 1993 to 2001. He founded Riordan, Lewis & Haden, a Los Angeles private-equity firm, in 1982 and was a founding partner in 1975 of Riordan & McKinzie, a boutique law firm that was acquired by the much larger Bingham McCutcheon firm in 2003 for an undisclosed sum.
Raymond (Larry) Miller gave nearly $1.9 million toward renaming a college residence apartment complex for his late wife, Judith Day, a former New Hampshire state legislator. Miller is a retired chief executive of Northern Composites, a composite, metal bonding, and tooling company, in Hampton, N.H. He started at the firm in 1980 as a technical sales representative and was promoted up through the ranks to vice president, president, co-president, and eventually CEO. He graduated from the college in 1973 and serves on its Board of Trustees.
Day, who died last year, was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2006 and again in 2008. She retired from Leslie College in 2006 after many years of teaching practicing teachers in special education. Earlier in her career, she taught special education at the former Marston School, in Portsmouth, N.H., and at North Hampton and Rye Elementary schools.
Albany Law School
Christopher Steadman gave $1 million to establish the Christopher A.H. Steadman ’99 Scholarship, which will provide a one-year, renewable scholarship each year to a student who has served as a volunteer or on-call firefighter, an EMS provider, or a nontraditional student. Preference will go to students formerly in the building trades who are now pursuing a second career in the law.
Steadman is a former Albany, N.Y., attorney who now lives in New Hampshire. He earned a law degree from the school in 1999 after a career working as a carpenter for many years.
“Law school is not for the faint of heart,” Steadman said in a news release. “Neither is volunteering to be a firefighter, nor returning to school later in life. I know this firsthand. This scholarship will help those who have already shown their altruism by helping others to further, and expand, their ability to do so.”
To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated regularly.