New Presidential Chair Established at School of Medicine

A husband-and-wife team who first met as Tulane undergraduates is donating $5 million to create the university’s ninth Presidential Chair, which will be based at the School of Medicine.

The Drs. Philip and Cheryl Leone Presidential Chair Endowed Fund will support a medical school professor who will also hold a joint appointment in another school or unit and focus on areas such as public health, immunology, parasitology or anthropology.

Phil (A&S ’64, M ’68) and Cheryl (NC ’66, M ’69) Leone
The gift of Drs. Phil (A&S ’64, M ’68) and Cheryl Leone (NC ’66, M ’69) establishes the university’s ninth presidential chair, to be based at the School of Medicine.

Phil (A&S ’64, M ’68) and Cheryl (NC ’66, M ’69) Leone are retired pathologists and current members of the School of Medicine Board of Governors. They view their donation as an expression of gratitude to their alma mater and an important investment in medical education and innovation.

“Tulane University has played a major role in our lives and the lives of our family members,” Phil Leone said. “Our son graduated from Tulane, and Cheryl’s siblings earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the university. Our education impacted us all personally and professionally in very positive ways, and we have always wanted to give back.”

“Endowing a Presidential Chair with an emphasis on interdisciplinary academic study allows us to contribute to the university in these challenging times,” Cheryl Leone added. “We hope our gift will strengthen the medical school and help train future physicians who can significantly advance the field of medicine.”

Over the years the Leones have given prolifically to Tulane. In 2015 they set up the Drs. Philip and Cheryl Leone Scholarship Endowed Fund to benefit medical students in financial need. In 2020 they donated $1 million to launch the Leone Learning Center, the primary teaching center for first-year medical students.

“Phil and Cheryl’s deep devotion to Tulane could not be more inspiring,” said L. Lee Hamm, MD, senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine. “Their support — from scholarships to the state-of-the-art learning center and now to their Presidential Chair — propels the school forward in every mission and at every level. Their Tulane spirit is phenomenal.”

Residents of Naples, Florida, the Leones have worked in both academic and private practice. They belong to Tulane’s National Campaign Council for South Florida, which supports Only the Audacious, The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane, and the Paul Tulane Society, which honors individuals and organizations that have donated $1 million or more to the university.

The Leones have two children, including Seth (A&S ’95).