Transformative Generosity

Raymond G. Perelman’s landmark gift will change lives for generations to come.

Published on in Children's View

Perelam Campus Many people envision the future. A rare few actually build it. Raymond G. Perelman is one of those few.

Perelman has made a transformational $50 million gift to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that will fund pediatric research on a breathtakingly ambitious scale. The gift, equal to the largest in CHOP’s history, opens exciting new opportunities for investigation, helping CHOP’s leading scientists unravel the most challenging mysteries of pediatric disease.

In recognition of Perelman’s generosity, we have named our entire eight-acre South Campus the Raymond G. Perelman Campus. Consisting of the Hospital’s Ruth and Tristram Colket, Jr. translational Research Building, the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care and the 2.6-acre landscaped outdoor plaza between the buildings, the Perelman Campus will serve as a hub of scientific innovation, literally facilitating an even closer connection between clinical care and research.

“This gift opens a tremendous number of possibilities,” says Wolf.

“It will allow us to focus on discoveries we could never pursue with standard funding.” Those discoveries will translate into better health for children.

“Mr. Perelman is first and foremost improving the lives of children for generations to come, and we will always be grateful for his altruism,” says Mortimer J. Buckley, chairman of CHOP’s Board of Trustees.

Generations of generosity

For Raymond Perelman, the power of philanthropy to transform lives is not only a personal credo but it is also a legacy he has instilled in succeeding generations of his own family. “My father taught me many things, none more important than that we are blessed to help those less fortunate,” says his son Ronald Perelman. “Raymond believes that at his core, and we all share the joy of his lesson and his experiences in helping others.”

A better world for sick children

The timing of Perelman’s donation is fortuitous, as it comes during a period when traditional sources of research funding, such as the National Institutes of Health, have sharply declined.

“Pediatric research is facing a really tough funding time,” says Bryan Wolf, MD, PhD, CHOP’s chief scientific officer.

“To sustain — and grow — a research enterprise of this scale, you need philanthropy. That’s key for our future.”

Perelman has a long history of philanthropic giving that touches landmark Philadelphia institutions. “Raymond has been supporting institutions in Philadelphia his entire lifetime,” says his granddaughter Debra Perelman. “The notion of making this gift to CHOP, in his city, immediately appealed to my grandfather; improving healthcare for sick children was truly compelling for him.”

Fueling the future of pediatric medicine

In creating the CHOP gift, Perelman was clear in his intent to support research. “Raymond believes that the future of medicine depends on the ability to produce world-class clinicians and researchers,” Debra Perelman continues.

The gift establishes the Raymond G. Perelman Research Fund at CHOP, which will provide direct support for:

  • The Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics. Led by the world’s leading experts in immunotherapy and molecular therapy, the center is designing ways to re-engineer the body’s immune system to fight catastrophic illnesses like cancer.
  • Perelman Scholars (part of the President’s Scholars program). Two new tenure-track faculty positions will attract world-class pediatric researchers.
  • The Perelman Fund for Research Innovation. This permanent source of funding will enable the CHOP Research Institute to identify and support strategic new pilot initiatives.
  • The Perelman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology. This chair will support a highly skilled physician-scientist conducting groundbreaking research in ophthalmologic diseases in children.
  • Broad support for general activities of the CHOP Research Institute.