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Alexander Levi, a trustee emeritus of Johns Hopkins University, and his wife Vicki have made a gift of $15 million to the university's Berman Institute of Bioethics to support the education and training of future leaders in the field of bioethics.
Levi, a clinical psychologist based in New York, is a longtime supporter of the Berman Institute and chair of the institute's national advisory board. He has previously supported post-doctoral bioethicists through the Hecht-Levi Fellowship Program.
The gift announced today will establish the Ruth R. Faden Endowment for Education in Bioethics, named in honor of the Berman Institute's founding director.
"This remarkable gift, one of the largest ever made to any bioethics program, will both enable the Berman Institute to attract and support the most promising students and fellows in the United States and from around the world and honor our founding director, Ruth Faden," said Jeffrey Kahn, who became the Berman Institute's second director last summer. "The Levi family's generosity will dramatically expand our capacity to prepare leaders who will take on the most pressing and morally challenging bioethics issues of the day, and who will work to effect change when and where it is most needed."
The endowment will provide:
- Ongoing permanent support to fully fund the Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
- Tuition support for students in the Berman Institute's Master of Bioethics program
- Research and conference travel support for students in the doctoral track in Health Policy and Ethics
- Leadership training support for selected highly qualified fellows and students through the Ruth Faden Scholars Program
Ruth Faden Scholars will receive leadership development training and other opportunities over the course of their participation in the program.
"No words could adequately express what Alex and Vicki's decision to name this extraordinary endowment in my honor means. As they know, nothing is dearer to my professional heart than the training of future generations," Faden said. "The Levis' incredibly generous gift ensures that the Berman Institute will be able to continue to educate, in perpetuity, our field's future leaders. I cannot imagine a more farsighted contribution, not only to our institution, but to bioethics and to what bioethics can contribute to the world."
One of the largest bioethics centers in the world, the Berman Institute is Johns Hopkins University's home for collaborative scholarship and teaching on the ethics of clinical practice, public health, and biomedical science. Since 1995, the institute has worked with governmental agencies and nongovernmental and private sector organizations to address and resolve ethical issues. Its 35 faculty members are drawn from the Johns Hopkins schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Advanced International Studies, and Arts and Sciences.
In partnership with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Berman Institute leads one of the nation's premier PhD programs in Bioethics and Health Policy in addition to its newly created Master of Bioethics graduate program. The gift to the Berman Institute continues the long legacy of substantial support that the Hecht-Levi family has provided Johns Hopkins University for more than half a century.
"I've been involved with the Berman Institute for a long time, and I feel like it's given back more to me than I could ever give to it," Levi said. "Vicki and I wanted to find a way to honor Ruth's lifetime of service, to creating the Berman Institute, to bioethics at Hopkins, and to the field. This gift will create new leaders who will change the world in ways we can't yet foresee."