News

8.07.2017

Mrs. Betty Siegel Reader Scholarship Fund to Aid Medical Students

The Mrs. Betty Siegel Reader Scholarship Fund has made a generous $1 million pledge to offer full-tuition scholarships for well-deserving, qualified students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The commitment honors Betty Reader, a longtime philanthropist, volunteer, and passionate supporter of education. Since 2011, the fund has provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students.

“Education was paramount to Betty,” said Jerilynn Gidney, co-director of the fund, along with Marc Gidney and Candice Gidney, longtime family friends of Reader. “She valued education and felt it was the best way to accomplish what you want in life.”

The pledge comes at a critical time, as the cost of medical school is steadily rising across the country. Although tuition at the Miller School is one of the lowest in the country among private medical schools, a vast majority of medical school applicants require financial help. Having that support available plays a critical role in attracting the best and brightest students.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Gidney family and the Betty Siegel Reader Scholarship Fund for its remarkable generosity and dedication to higher education,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, executive dean for education and policy at the Miller School. “It will have an enduring impact on our school and future physicians for generations to come.”

Born in 1910 in Pittsburgh, Reader spent many years living in New York and Miami Beach. As a woman who took pride in the fact that she worked most of her adult life, Reader often talked about her days as a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. She married twice, first to Charles Siegel, the owner of a retail shoe store in New York City. Years later, she married her second husband, hotel manager Joseph Reader, with whom she lived in Miami Beach.

Reader volunteered and supported many other organizations including American Friends of Hebrew University, Jewish Home for the Aged, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Hadassah, Women’s American ORT, American Cancer Society, Brandeis University, American Technion Society; Miami Jewish Home and Hospital, and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. She received many accolades for her philanthropy, including The Hebrew University Award and the Diamond Medal from Hadassah.

“Betty Reader wanted to give young adults the ability to follow their dreams through education,” Jerilynn Gidney said. “That is what our scholarships are about.”

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