Philip & Cheryl Milstein Donate $20M for Medical and Graduate Education Bldg.

NEW YORK, NY – Continuing their family’s multigenerational connection to Columbia and support of its leadership in medicine, Philip (CC ‘71) and Cheryl Milstein (Barnard ‘82) have made a $20 million commitment to Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). The pledge, through their family foundation, is the latest gift from the Philip Milstein family and is intended to support the medical center’s campus revitalization, specifically, the new Medical and Graduate Education Building.

The new Medical and Graduate Education Building has been designed to support the intense training students receive at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) and the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The stunning design by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro includes innovative classroom and study spaces that will incorporate state-of-the-art information technology while facilitating collaborative, team-based learning. Work on the new building began in August 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2016. The Medical and Graduate Education Building is part of a larger plan to revitalize the medical center campus, which will also add green urban spaces for the benefit of everyone in the community, including patients who come to Columbia University Medical Center and its affiliate, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, for care.

“Over a lifetime of exceptional accomplishment, Philip Milstein has maintained an enduring commitment to his alma mater, and for that Columbia will be forever grateful,” said University President Lee C. Bollinger. “The Milstein family’s contributions to the University encompass everything from the Philip L. Milstein Family Library to financial aid and athletics. But nowhere has this generosity been more powerfully felt than at Columbia University Medical Center. This latest gift extends the family’s ongoing commitment to ensuring world class medical training and the highest quality health care that saves lives and finds new cures.”

“With this gift, Philip and Cheryl Milstein continue their family’s tradition of extraordinary philanthropy to support the advancement of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center,” said Lee Goldman, MD, dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine and executive vice president for Health and Biomedical Sciences at Columbia University. “As a University Trustee since 1996 and a member of the CUMC Board of Advisors, Philip is a great friend to our institution, and we are grateful for his and Cheryl’s important contribution to the revitalization of our shared CUMC and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia campuses.”

Philip Milstein’s family’s interest in health care can be traced back to his maternal grandfather, Joshua M. Leiner, who was a neurologist and the first practicing psychiatrist in Bronx County. Philip’s parents, Vivian and Seymour Milstein, began their association with Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in the 1950s. The family’s support of medicine through the University includes the funding of research in the Mesothelioma Center and endowed professorships, including the Seymour Milstein Professorship of Cardiology, held by Allan Schwartz, MD.

Philip Milstein was named a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in 2012 and his father, Seymour, served as chairman of the board of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital from 1989 to 1996. Together with his brother, Paul, and his sister, Gloria Milstein Flanzer, Seymour provided the lead gift for the Milstein Hospital Building, the main building of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. The Vivian and Seymour Milstein family made the transformational gift in 2005 toward the creation of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center, a 142,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that features advanced cardiac diagnostic technology and provides treatments that are frequently less invasive, more accurate, and require less healing time. Philip’s wife, Cheryl, serves as vice chair of the Barnard College Board of Trustees. Philip’s sister, Connie, has been a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian since 2000, and his niece, Abby Elbaum (CC ‘92), serves on the Heart Center Steering Committee and the Sloane Hospital for Women Advisory Committee of NewYork-Presbyterian, and is an emeritus member of the Columbia College Board of Visitors.

“The Vivian and Seymour Milstein family’s visionary leadership and steadfast support has helped NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital become a leader in heart care,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “We are immensely grateful to the family for their support over the years, and we know that this latest gift will further advance medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.”

Philip Milstein served as president and co-chairman of the Board of Trustees of Emigrant Savings Bank from 1987 to 2003. In 2003, together with his sister and niece, he founded Ogden CAP Properties, LLC, which owns and manages residential apartment buildings, commercial office and retail space, and The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC. Since graduating from Columbia College, he has been an active volunteer and generous benefactor of the College. He has been president of the Columbia College Alumni Association, and he served on the Columbia College Board of Visitors before becoming a University Trustee. He has provided support and leadership for countless efforts at the College, including the Philip L. Milstein Family Library, the Philip and Cheryl Milstein Scholarship Fund, the Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men’s Tennis, and the William Campbell Sports Complex. He also serves on CUMC’s Board of Advisors, chairing the Capital Planning Committee.

“As chair of the Capital Planning Committee, Philip Milstein has provided invaluable leadership in the creation of the new Medical and Graduate Education Building,” said P. Roy Vagelos, MD (P&S ‘54), chair of the CUMC Board of Advisors. Dr. Vagelos, together with his wife, Diana Vagelos (Barnard ‘55), have made a major gift in support of the new building.

“For Philip and Cheryl Milstein, their family connection to Columbia can be traced back more than half a century. It is wonderful and fitting that they would continue their legacy of generosity with the most important project for the future of medical and graduate education at CUMC,” said Dr. Vagelos.

Columbia has honored Philip Milstein for his dedicated service by awarding him the Alumni Federation Medal in 1993, the John Jay Award for Professional Achievement in 1996, and the College’s highest honor, the Hamilton Medal, in 2001.

In addition to his support of Columbia, Philip Milstein serves on the Board of Directors of the 92nd Street Y (having previously served as president and chair of the board); the Board and Executive Committee of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and the Board of Overseers for New York University’s Stern Graduate School of Business, from which he graduated in 1974. Philip and Cheryl Milstein have four children: Meredith (CC ‘09), Joshua (CC ‘10), Toby (Barnard ‘14), and Laurence, a high school senior.


Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

Media Contact: CUMC Office of Communications,, 212-305-3900



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