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Tulane-trained doctor pays it forward with matching gift

April 17, 2018 2:30 PM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu
The Tulane School of Medicine’s library is named for Dr. Rudolph Matas, whose bust is shown here. Matas devoted much of his energy and fortune to the expansion of the library’s collections and services for the benefit of students and faculty at his alma mater and medical practitioners everywhere. The library was named in Matas’ honor in 1937. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


As a young medical student, Clifford Gevirtz, MD, spent so much time at the Rudolph Matas Health Sciences Library that he jokes his DNA has become embedded in the walls. But the long hours proved transformative.

“My experience taught me how to study, how to learn, to sort out what’s important and what’s not and I carried those lessons on through residency and on to my practice,” said Gevirtz, who received his medical degree and master’s degree in public health from Tulane in 1981.                                                         

Now a successful anesthesiologist and medical director at Somnia Anesthesia in New York City, Gevirtz is committed to helping rising Tulane physicians.

“I got a small scholarship and a lot of financial aid when I went there and I like to say that they made a good investment.”

Clifford Gevirtz, Tulane School of Medicine alumnus

“I got a small scholarship and a lot of financial aid when I went there and I like to say that they made a good investment,” said Gevirtz. “I’d like to give back to them tenfold.”

In order to encourage other donors, Gevirtz has pledged $11,000 to be counted as a match in Tulane University’s first-ever university-wide giving day, “Give Green: A Day for the Audacious,” which will be held April 18.  

Remembering his own days as a medical student, Gevirtz allocated his gift to student resources within the Matas library, among them a water bottle filling station, standing desks and student lockers. He developed the gift in consultation with Neville Prendergast, director of the Matas Library. “We had a little conference — what do students need and what would make them happier. If they are going to spend long hours there, let them be comfortable.”

Prendergast is thrilled. “His thoughtful gift will certainly resonate — especially with students, as well as faculty, researchers or staff using the library’s services and resources.”

Gevirtz, who also serves on the School of Medicine’s Board of Governors, is enthusiastic about the building excitement surrounding Give Green. “You don’t go into medicine without having a big heart. You don’t go into medicine without wanting to help your fellow man. This is a way of multiplying that.”

Click here to give.