Philanthropist Eugene Lang Makes $2 Million Gift to Support Medical Education and Mentoring Program for Youth from Washington Heights and Inwood

Lifetime gift of $3.3 million supports the Lang Youth Medical Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, giving promising middle school and high school students unique, invaluable exposure to medical careers

Sep 23, 2013


Ten years after inspiring the founding of the medical mentoring program that bears his name, philanthropist Eugene Lang has made an additional pledge of $2 million to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in support of the program. With the gift, the hospital enters its 11th successful year of providing inner-city youth from Upper Manhattan's Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods the opportunity to participate in the Lang Youth Medical Program. The six-year college preparatory program is designed to foster an interest in medicine and science, as well as develop self-esteem and emotional and social well-being.

In 2003, Lang made a $1.25 million gift through his foundation to launch the program under the auspices of the hospital's Ambulatory Care Network. More than 100 students, all from Manhattan's Public School District Six, have since graduated or are currently enrolled.

Offered in the stimulating environment of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, the Lang Youth Medical Program is held on Saturdays during the school year and five days a week during July. The students attend classes modeled after medical school curriculum and have the opportunity to observe surgeries and other clinical activities, while working alongside doctors and researchers. The classes are taught by physicians, nurses, and staff from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as well as undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from Columbia University and other institutions.

The program strongly emphasizes the mentoring of the participants by the volunteer faculty and students. The Lang scholars not only learn about medicine and science, but also are supported as they prepare for and apply to high school and college. By integrating life skills, character development, and community service into the curriculum, the program also supports the emotional and social development of the scholars and promotes their citizenship and advocacy skills. With the funding, the program also provides partial scholarships to the students during their four years of college.

"The Lang Youth Medical Program is making life-changing differences for Washington Heights' and Inwood's youth, their families, and the community," said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "The original six program participants are shining examples of the program's powerful impact. All went on to four-year colleges, four are now pursuing health-related careers or further studies, and two are working toward careers in business. I believe that their success is a direct result of the Lang Youth Medical Program. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is profoundly grateful to Eugene Lang for his longstanding generosity and continuing support of this visionary program."

"It is with pleasure and pride that my foundation has made this commitment to the Lang Youth Medical Program," said Eugene Lang. "NewYork-Presbyterian has succeeded in creating a program that greatly benefits the families of its Washington Heights and Inwood community and serves as a model for hospitals nationwide. I am honored to be associated with it, and I encourage others to contribute to its long-term sustainability."

About Eugene Lang

For over 60 years, Eugene M. Lang pursued a business career, creating diverse manufacturing ventures in the United States and abroad based on new products and innovative technologies.

Born to immigrant parents in 1919, Lang grew up in New York City. During the Great Depression, he attended public schools and, at age 15, was admitted to Swarthmore College with a scholarship. An economics major, he graduated in 1938 and became a writer of business reports and a production planner for an aircraft parts company, while earning a graduate business degree from Columbia University and taking mechanical engineering courses at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute.

As he became increasingly devoted to philanthropy, he established the Eugene M. Lang Foundation in 1963 and, in 1981, created the "I Have A Dream" program to provide guidance, support, and a college opportunity to disadvantaged children. The program grew into the national I Have A Dream Foundation. In 2001, Lang established Project Pericles, an organization that engages colleges and universities to encourage and facilitate the effective participation of young Americans in the processes of democracy.

Lang has service relationships with many institutions. He is currently chair emeritus of Swarthmore College's Board of Managers; founder and chair emeritus of the national I Have A Dream Foundation; founder and chair emeritus of the Conference of Board Chairs of Liberal Arts Colleges; board member of the Columbia University Business School, where he established the Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship; and board member of New School University, whose undergraduate liberal arts college bears his name.

Reflecting on Lang's accomplishments, Forbes magazine once characterized him as "the quintessential entrepreneur" and the former Nation's Business magazine as "a father of innovation."

Lang and his late wife Theresa were married in 1946 and had three children. He now has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He claims that his biggest success has been his marriage and the strong sense of family that has grown continuously within an encompassing environment of love, respect, interaction, achievement, shared values, and social responsibility.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive hospitals, with some 2,600 beds. In 2012, the Hospital had nearly two million inpatient and outpatient visits, including 12,758 deliveries and 215,946 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 20,154 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at six major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Public Affairs 212-305-5587