Irving Family Bequest for Cancer Research and Clinical Care

November 16, 2017

Dear fellow members of the Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian community:

We are proud to announce that Florence Irving and the late Herbert Irving have made a bequest of $700 million to Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian to support pioneering cancer research and clinical care at our shared medical campus. 

This historic infusion of resources—which includes $600 million in newly announced funds as well as previous pledges—comes at a moment when new scientific tools are improving our ability to study cancer, and new clinical approaches such as immunotherapy are helping us deliver better outcomes for our patients. The Irvings’ new gift will help us strengthen our capabilities in areas such as genomics, immunology, computational biology, pathology, and biomedical engineering—disciplines essential to our efforts to fight and cure cancer. It will also help us enhance our shared facilities at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Florence and Herbert Irving’s record of visionary philanthropy devoted to our academic Medical Center now totals more than $900 million over three decades. Their extraordinary commitment is why we chose to name our medical campus in Washington Heights in their honor last year, and we are all grateful that Herbert lived to see that great day. Now, thanks in large part to their remarkable generosity, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center are positioned to become one of the world’s most elite cancer centers. 

We know we are at a crucial juncture in cancer research and care, and there is a great deal of optimism among our clinicians and cancer researchers.  What is perhaps less well understood is that the dramatic advances now within our reach will be realized only by harnessing the learning of many different scientific disciplines, which requires enormous institutional resources. The Irvings have given us the means to engage in that collective effort, and we are determined to leverage the world-class academic and clinical excellence of Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian to realize their ambitious vision. 

It’s no overstatement to say that Herbert and Florence Irving have had a historic impact on Columbia University, its Medical Center, and NewYork-Presbyterian. With their enduring support, we are committed to achieving the high goals we have set for ourselves in improving lives and developing new cures for cancer in all its forms.


Lee C. Bollinger
President, Columbia University

Steven J. Corwin, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian

Lee Goldman, M.D.
Chief Executive, Columbia University Irving Medical Center