Med students to benefit from largest ever gift to UTHealth

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The hugs of gratitude were justified and Kathrine McGovern was on the receiving end.

Today she gave away $75 million and the people she gave it to were doctors in the making at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

"We will work every day to honor the McGovern legacy and to embody the excellence and empathy for which the name stands. I promise that," said Giuseppe Colasurdo, President of UTHealth.

The legacy of which he speaks belongs to Dr. John McGovern, a pioneer in the study of allergies and a life-long proponent of deeply compassionate, patient centered care.

As it turns out the Doctor had yet another gift, a genius for investing in real estate, the proceeds of which have made possible this eight figure endowment. UTHealth called it a "game changing" bequest that's forever attached the McGovern name to the medical school.

  "My late husband John McGovern was devoted to patient care, research and education the same outstanding standards UTHealth's medical school pursues daily. He would be so very proud and I thank you, thank you very much," said Kathrine McGovern.

As for the biggest single donation in UTHealth history, it's headed straight to McGovern's abiding priority "people".

The focus - gifted instructors to further study patient centered care and generous scholarships to support students on their journey to becoming doctors.

 First year med student Esther Osuji is among the benefactors.

"To get the scholarship and know that somebody actually cared and wanted to make sure that I would have what I needed to get to school, to be able to study, to have the best resources really meant a lot and showed me everyone at this school has my back. I'm not in it alone," said Osuji.

Esther Osuji won't ever meet Doc McGovern. He passed away 8 years ago.

What she will know is his uncompromised principle of putting the patient first.