It was a lovely day to celebrate one of Tulane’s greatest philanthropists.

On Nov. 14, 2019, on the seventh floor of the Hutchinson Building downtown, Tulane University School of Medicine commemorated the dedication of the John W. Deming Department of Medicine and formally unveiled a portrait of the department’s namesake, Dr. John Winton Deming (M ’44).

The Deming family in front of Dr. John Deming's portrait at the dedication
In November 2019, a portrait of Dr. John Winton Deming is unveiled at a celebration of his life and career and the gift by his wife, Bertie Deming Smith (front), to fund clinical and translational research at the Tulane School of Medicine. Smith is joined by her children (rear, from left) Cathy Pierson (G ’78, SW ’89), Bebe Heiner and Claiborne Deming (A&S ’76, L ’79).

John Deming’s wife of 50 years, Bertie Deming Smith, her children, Cathy Pierson (G ’78, SW ’89), Bebe Heiner and Claiborne Deming (A&S ’76, L ’79), and extended family members joined Tulane senior leadership and School of Medicine faculty members to celebrate the occasion and remember Dr. Deming, an extraordinary physician and civic leader.

The event celebrated a $25 million planned gift that Bertie Deming Smith made in 2017 to the School of Medicine honoring her late husband. The gift is the largest in the School of Medicine’s history and will fund both clinical and translational research.

Smith has been making payments on her gift in advance of her bequest. Called a “blended gift,” such generosity is typically made partly in life and partly through an estate plan. Blended gifts to Tulane give donors like Smith the pleasure of making an impact today and benefiting Tulane tomorrow.

The Deming dedication and portrait unveiling were especially touching as they allowed the family to celebrate and see the impact of their incredible gift to Tulane. On the day of the dedication, family members shared stories about Dr. Deming. They recalled his compassion, intelligence, sense of humor and dedication, and the vast impact that the $25 million gift will have on Tulane’s future.