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Michelle and Lanny Edelsohn, MD ’67 Michelle and Lanny Edelsohn, MD ’67
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Mary E. Hagerty HD ’99 Mary E. Hagerty HD ’99
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Elaine Lindy Elaine Lindy
Frances and James J. MAGUIRE Frances and James J. MAGUIRE
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Larry H. Will ’66 Larry H. Will ’66

Michelle and Lanny Edelsohn, MD ’67

Dr. and Mrs. Edelsohn with the first recipient of the Edelsohn Family Scholarship Fund

It takes only about five minutes of conversation with Dr. Lanny ‘67 and Mrs. Micki Edelsohn to learn what drives their philanthropy: family, trust and providing opportunities to others.

For the past two years, Dr. and Mrs. Edelsohn have supported the Edelsohn Family Scholarship Fund at Drexel University College of Medicine, helping high-potential, economically disadvantaged medical students planning on a career in family practice complete their medical degrees. However, their roots with giving to the College run much deeper.

When Dr. Edelsohn was in his first term of medical school in 1963 at what was then Hahnemann Medical College, his father passed away. He considered leaving school, but the support of his College community convinced him otherwise. The College was very supportive, and his family and friends banded together to establish the Alan Edelsohn Memorial Prize in his father’s memory, to recognize students who demonstrate outstanding leadership and service to their class and the College. A recipient has been named every year at graduation ever since, although the school has gone through several changes in affiliation over the years.

“If I am going to give to a university, I want to make sure I can trust them,” says Dr. Edelsohn. “My experience with Hahnemann, with Drexel, through my own education and through the Alan Edelsohn Memorial Prize, for the past 50 years has shown me that this is an organization I can trust.”

Dr. and Mrs. Edelsohn also choose to give to Drexel for other reasons. It was because of support from his family that Dr. Edelsohn was able to graduate from medical school debt-free. He and Mrs. Edelsohn recognize what a gift that was, and believe they have a responsibility as part of the Drexel family to help future College of Medicine graduates.

Says Dr. Edelsohn, who received the College of Medicine’s Outstanding Mentor Award in 2013, “It’s important to remember where you came from. I had a wonderful, rewarding career and it all goes back to those first few days of medical school. It’s time to give back.”

“I had a wonderful, rewarding career and it all goes back to those first few days of medical school. It’s time to give back.”

Dr. Edelsohn’s career has spanned over four decades. After his time at Hahnemann, he spent two years as an officer in the US Public Health Service before pursuing his neurology residency at Harvard. For the past 41 years, he has practiced neurology in Wilmington, Delaware. He is also a clinical professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College.

Helping family and extending opportunity are common themes in the Edelsohns’ giving, not only to Drexel but to their wider community. Due to a birth injury, their younger son, Robert, has significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a result, Mrs. Edelsohn has dedicated her life’s work to improving the living options available to him and others with intellectual and developmental needs. Avid fundraisers, volunteers and advocates, since 1989 the Edelsohns’ Home For Life Foundation has raised the funds to build over 25 group homes so people like their son have the opportunity to thrive while living as independently as possible with support.

The Edelsohns see the impact daily of Mrs. Edelsohn’s efforts on behalf of their son and the special needs community, and, although they began supporting their scholarship at Drexel in 2013, they are already seeing the impact of their generosity on College of Medicine students as well. The first student to receive their support is now doing her residency at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine.

“She’s a very exciting young woman,” says Dr. Edelsohn. “Very bright. She’s going to be a star in her field.”

Through their support of the Edelsohn Family Scholarship, Dr. and Mrs. Edelsohn continue a tradition of over 50 years of recognizing the Edelsohn family at Drexel University College of Medicine by helping students like their scholarship recipients become stars. It is hard to imagine a stronger showing of trust than that.

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July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
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