On Monday, Harvard University announced that it had received the largest donation in its history. Morningside Foundation had donated $350 million to the School of Public Health. The donation is unrestricted and efforts such as loan forgiveness for graduates working in undeserved areas, seeding money for pathbreaking research that is unable to get support from other funders, new classrooms and financial aid for students, will be supported.
Julio Frenk, the dean of the school said that Morningside gift will provide support to research and training in 4 areas; failing health systems, humanitarian crisis and poverty including natural disasters and war, environmental health risks including tobacco, guns and pollution and pandemics ranging from Ebola and Malaria to cancer and obesity.
Gerald Chan and Drs. Ronnie established the Morningside Foundation in the year 1996 for supporting higher education in Asia and North America. T.H Chan, their father found the Hang Lung Group Ltd., one of the largest real estate companies in Hong Kong.
After the death of Chan in the year 1986, the Morningside group was started by his sons, which makes venture capital and private equity investments in biotech as well as other companies based on science and technology, especially in the United States and China.
In an interview Gerald Chan recalled his days as a student in Harvard School of Public Health wherein he learnt that science can be put into action for improving human health. Research at the school has led to Designated Driver Campaign for preventing drunk driving, bans on trans fat and stricter Clean Air Act regulations.