NEW YORK — Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced that their shared medical campus in Washington Heights will be named for donors Herbert and Florence Irving. The Irvings have donated more than $300 million to the school and the campus will now be called Columbia University Herbert and Florence Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
The institutions installed a banner on the pedestrian footbridge across Ft. Washington Avenue south of 168th Street announcing the campus’s new name.
In a joint message, Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger, NewYork-Presbyterian President and CEO Steven J. Corwin, MD, and Columbia University Medical Center Chief Executive and Dean Lee Goldman, MD, noted that, through their longstanding and continuing philanthropy to the University and Hospital, the Irvings have played an essential role in advancing one of the leading academic medical centers in the nation and world.
“Herbert and Florence Irving are among the most generous benefactors in the history of our combined institutions,” said Bollinger, Corwin and Goldman in their joint announcement. “Their support is a reflection of their personal commitment to saving lives and treating disease through pioneering research and the highest quality, most compassionate clinical care.”
The Irving name is already a familiar part of Columbia and the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, which is home to the Herbert Irving Pavilion, the Irving Cancer Research Center, the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the Irving Radiation Oncology Center, the Irving Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as a long list of named professorships, faculty chairs, and clinical and research facilities. The Irvings’ donations and commitments over time to Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian will exceed $300 million.
Most recently, the Irvings donated new gifts to support Columbia’s precision medicine initiative which, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian, is addressing the genetic and genomic basis of cancer and other life-altering diseases. The Irvings’ support will help position this initiative at the Medical Center to be at the forefront of genomics, data science, and the core science and engineering disciplines essential to this emerging path to fighting and curing cancer.
“One of the proudest things we’ve done over the years,” said Herbert and Florence Irving, “has been to support the terrific doctors at Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian. This is a relationship that has endured for many years and been very important to us. We are honored to be associated in this way with these great institutions and the special people who make them what they are.”
Both born and raised in Brooklyn, Herbert and Florence Irving have played a leading role in philanthropy and service in their generous support for Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian’s Columbia campus.
Herbert Irving is a co-founder and former vice chairman of Sysco Corporation, the nation’s largest food distributor. Florence Irving has served in leadership positions on the boards of several non-profit institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she is a trustee emeritus. They have been married for 74 years.