Temple’s School of Medicine will be renamed to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine after Katz announced his $25 million donation would go to toward the school, the university said in a press release on Wednesday.
Katz’s donation, the largest in Temple’s history, will be used for bettering research and education at the School of Medicine.
The executive committee unanimously approved naming the medical school in Katz’s name during a conference call Wednesday morning, trustees Chairman Patrick J. O’Connor told the Inquirer.
“I love my school and it’s beyond my comprehension that I could be so lucky and privileged to have the university and my fellow colleagues on the board of trustees honor me in this way,” Katz told the Inquirer.
Katz, who has been on the Board of Trustees since 1998, made his $25 million pledge in November when he received a Musser Excellence in Leadership Award – the highest honor given by the Fox School of Business. He did not announce a specific purpose for the donation at that time.
“[Katz] understands that there’s something special about medicine, medical education and medical research – the power to dramatically improve people’s lives in Philadelphia and beyond,” Larry R. Kaiser, the school’s dean, said in a press release.
Temple University Health System reported nearly $26 million in research revenue for a nine-month period ending March 31, 2014.
These revenues were about $4 million less than expected, due to funding cuts from Pennsylvania related to changes in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, according to the agenda from the trustees’ May 13 general body meeting.
TUHS also reported a net loss of nearly $28 million for that period. In November, Moody’s research and ratings division downgraded the credit outlook of the university from stable to negative largely due to concerns for the health system.
Katz, who received a biology degree from Temple in 1963, is co-owner of Interstate General Media, the company which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com. He co-owns the company with fellow trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest and Democratic powerbroker George Norcross.
Katz is a former co-owner of the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets, former member of the NBA’s Board of Governors and majority owner of five radio stations in New Jersey.
Joe Brandt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.