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A gift of $150,000 from the Avalon Foundation of New York has completed the endowment funds for the Roger Irving Lee Professorship at the School of Public Health.
Dr. John C. Snyder, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, announced the gift just a year after President Pusey reported the establishment of the Lee Professorship. Lee was a leader in organizing the School of Public Health in 1920. He was also the first Oliver Professor of Hygiene at Harvard and served on the Corporation from 1921 to 1954.
Prior to receipt of the Avalon Foundation gift, $250,000 for the endowment of the Lee Professorship had been subscribed by many groups and individuals, including friends, colleagues and former patients. The gift of the Avalon Foundation was its second major grant to the Harvard School of Public Health within the past two years.
"By assuring the support of a professor, around whom programs of research and teaching may be developed, the endowed chair helps the School maintain a balance between federal and private sources of funds," Snyder said. He called maintaining this balance "the most acute problem facing the privately supported graduate schools of public health."
Freedom in choosing areas of research can only be safeguarded by building the resources of the private universities to assure their ability to meet the salaries of the professors appointed to their faculties, without reliance on government funds, according to Snyder. Snyder commented that while the first appointee to the Lee Professorship is expected to be concerned with health and medical care, subsequent holders of the professorship may be experts in other sciences or disciplines of public health, depending upon the needs of the School at that time.
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