Professor John Rowe Gives $1.5 Million to YMCA

A $1.5 million gift to the YMCA of Greater New York from John W. Rowe, MD, professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health, will fund a program that helps young New Yorkers finish high school and enter college.

The Rowe Scholars program supports 1,200 public and charter school students in New York City, providing each with individual academic planning and tutoring.

Dr. Rowe expects the gift will impact not just students’ job prospects but also their life expectancy and health in old age.

Education predicts life expectancy better than age alone, Dr. Rowe wrote in a recent Boston Globe op-ed co-authored with Laura Carstensen:

The most effective way to achieve fair and equitable aging societies is to invest in education beginning in preschool and continuing all the way through life.

In a Wall Street Journal article in which he was named Donor of the Day, Dr. Rowe said,


If you have that high school diploma or even a post high school, community college, or four-year college diploma, it has a dramatic lifelong effect. I felt that this [gift] was a very, very appropriate investment.