Faculty of medicine's first professors donate over $3 million to UBC

UBC former professors Dr. Constance and Dr. Sydney Friedman devoted their professional lives to the faculty of medicine, and their legacy continues as the Friedman foundation donates $3.3 millon for UBC heath scholarships.

The Friedmans were the earliest members of the faculty of medicine — in 1949, Sydney Friedman was appointed as its first professor — and the founders of the department of anatomy. 

“The Friedmans were instrumental in making the UBC faculty of medicine the exceptional medical school that it is today,” said President Santa Ono in a statement. “The university is grateful for everything they did and the endowment that allows that good work to continue.” 

The funding for the scholarships comes from the recent sale of the Friedmans' historic house, which was sold after they passed away. According to The Globe and Mail, the house was sold for more than $1 million higher than the listing price of $3.998 million. It was sold to a young couple from Ottawa who both respect the history of the house and wish to maintain it.

The funding will be allocated towards two awards — the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health and the Friedman Travel Award.

As outlined in the the concepts and guidelines of the Friedman Scholars in Health Award, the Friedmans “believed that a full well-rounded education requires students to learn from different perspectives and learn from different cultures.”

The Friedman Scholars in Health Award is open to UBC graduate students and UBC medical resident trainees working in the field of health, which can be interpreted broadly. They are expected to travel to other parts of the world, which must be outside or beyond Western Canada, in search of new perspectives and knowledge in their fields.

There will be two to four scholarships — with a value of $25,000 to $50,000 each — awarded per year.