In appreciation of the generous endowment the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia will be renaming their medical school the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
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The Sidney Kimmel Foundation, established more than twenty years ago by billionaire and well-known philanthropist Sidney Kimmel, has recently donated the sum of $110 million to the Thomas Jefferson University.
According to a spokesperson for the University, the foundation’s gift will be used to support scholarships, research and innovation, facilities, as well as other important initiatives such as faculty recruitment and retention.
Sidney Kimmel who was born in Philadelphia, founded the Kimmel Foundation in 1993 and through the foundation has made several major endowments in furthering the interests of higher education and medical research, particularly in helping to find a cure for cancer.
The Sidney Kimmel Foundation gifted a $150 million pledge to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2001, with part of the funds going towards the establishment of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center within the University
In total the Sidney Kimmel Foundation has donated $550 million to support cancer research, with an earlier gift having gone to the Thomas Jefferson University to establish a cancer center there, with the foundation now associated with four separate cancer research centers in the United States.
The Sidney Kimmel Foundation also provided funding for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, home of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra.
Sidney Kimmel began his professional career working with chemical giant W. R. Grace and Company, where in 1970, he was given the role of the founding president of the Jones Apparel Division. Five years later, in partnership with Gerard Rubin, an accountant with the company, Kimmel succeeded in acquiring the Jones Apparel Division, incorporating it as the Jones Apparel Group, which over the space of thirty years he expanded into a multi-billion dollar retailing giant.
In 2002 Kimmel stepped down as chief executive officer of Jones and sold most of his shares in the company, which by then was a publicly traded company, whilst retaining the position of chairman of the board of directors.
In the early eighties, Kimmel developed a keen interest in the movie industry and was involved in production of a number of successful independent productions.
In 2004, after selling his shares in Jones Apparel Group, Kimmel formed Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), to finance and produce movies and has been involved in a number of commercial and critical successes over the years.