Sherry Leventhal (Parent CAS’02, MED’07, ’09)
INVESTING IN EXCELLENCE
In appreciation of her daughters’ education, a mother opens doors for other students
In 2009, Alan M. and Sherry M. Leventhal made an extraordinarily generous pledge of $10 million to Boston University, a gift intended in part to motivate substantial parallel gifts for student financial aid and professorships.
Their donation recognizes the exemplary training that the Leventhals’ two daughters received from the School of Medicine, as well as the often overwhelming debt that many of today’s students face upon graduation from medical school. As Sherry Leventhal, MED campaign chair and a member of the MED Dean’s Advisory Board, explains, “I became involved with the School of Medicine when my two daughters were students there. Sarah, who was interested in ob-gyn, and Emily, who wanted to specialize in dermatology, each had an extraordinary experience at BUSM. After they became residents in their respective fields, they both reported that the School had prepared them extremely well for their post-grad specialties.
“Both of my daughters feel that their clinical training at Boston Medical Center, with its diverse patient population, was an invaluable part of their medical education. In contrast to many other medical schools, BUSM students are given a great deal of responsibility, almost from the first day of their clinical program. Relating to patients in a personalized manner and communication skills are emphasized at BUSM, helping to develop the students into the compassionate physicians that we need more of in this day and age.
“I have learned so much more about the medical school during my time on the Dean’s Advisory Board. I am particularly impressed by the diversity of the student population and desire of the students to help the underserved everywhere in the world. I am also aware of the challenges that the School faces, the most pressing of which is the overwhelming debt loads carried by the students when they graduate. We need to find ways to reduce the financial pressure on BUSM graduates, and I am hopeful that we can make real progress in that direction.”
Sherry Leventhal previously practiced law with the firm of Lemle & Kelleher LLP in New Orleans. She earned a bachelor of arts in English at Northwestern University in 1974, and is a 1977 graduate of the Tulane School of Law. She is a trustee of Tulane University and the Neighborhood House Charter School (Dorchester, Mass.).
Feeling Close—from Chicago
Parents often struggle to strike a balance between “hovering” over their children and respecting their growing independence. Elaine Szujewski, mother of Peter (CAS’12) and a member of the Parents Leadership Council, knows this all too well.