Alumni donate $1 million to School of Medicine

Adelia Couser

William and Barbara Weldon, a Quinnipiac alumni couple, recently made a $1 million donation to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine to create the William and Barbara Weldon Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine. The university will match this amount, creating a fund of $2 million.

The Weldons’ donation was a “tremendous gift,” Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President of Health Affairs Bruce Koeppen said. It will be used to build a new rehabilitation program at the School of Medicine in collaboration with the School of Health Sciences. The program will utilize expertise from physical therapy and occupational therapy, both of which are housed within the School of Health Sciences.

The Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine will include a Center for U.S. Veterans’ Rehabilitation, which will provide educational and rehab support for veterans who have been injured as a result of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Dr. Koeppen.

“To have this kind of money to support development really accelerates the program,” he says. “There are already incredible strengths at Quinnipiac in rehabilitation medicine through the physical therapy and occupational therapy programs, and we’re going to expand upon that by adding prescience from the medical school.”

William and Barbara Weldon graduated from the university in 1971.

“Quinnipiac University played a big role in our lives and we want to make sure that it continues to grow, prosper and make a real difference,” the couple said in a press release.  “Endowing a chair that will be held by the leader of a new institute dedicated to helping health care professionals and patients better understand rehabilitation medicine is the most significant way we can support our alma mater.”

Koeppen explained that Quinnipiac will soon be advertising nationally for applicants for the director of the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine position, and that the ideal candidate would be a physician with training in rehabilitation medicine.

“If possible, we would hope that individual would be a veteran him or herself,”  Koeppen said.

“We’re very pleased for the generosity of the Weldons,” he concluded. “This gives us a real opportunity to move this initiative [for the program] forward at a very accelerated rate.”

The university formally dedicated the medical school at a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday.