A $5 million gift from Tulane alumnus Richard M. Lerner (A&S ’81, B ’83) will create the university’s eighth Presidential Chair, devoted to increasing the world’s scientific understanding of aging and longevity.
Tulane will establish the Lawrence E. Lerner Presidential Chair Endowed Fund to support a professor in an interdisciplinary area of academic study. Lerner has requested that the initial chair-holder be a scholar whose research focuses on gerontology or related disciplines. The Presidential Chair is named for Lerner’s father, a real-estate developer and bank director who died in 2019.
For Lerner, the major challenge facing gerontology today is not just adding years to life but ensuring that those years are marked by higher levels of good health, vitality and vigor. “I hope that new and innovative research in the field of aging makes it possible for our loved ones to derive some pleasure from those incremental years,” Lerner said. “I’m hopeful that the establishment of a Presidential Chair in aging will contribute to the advancement of research that leads to healthier, happier and more productive lifespans.”