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Boldly Buffalo

Couple Gives Back in Gratitude for UB Education

David and Johanna Publow

Through their scholarship fund, David and Johanna Publow hope to help medical students pursue their dreams of becoming doctors.

David and Johanna Publow weren't your typical 1960s graduate students at the University at Buffalo.

"We were among a small coterie of married students, facing the challenge of married life and the rigors of medical school," David recalls. "We started our family in Buffalo, though my wife was required to resign her school teaching position when she became pregnant, which was school policy in the 1960s."

While David studied medicine, Johanna was enrolled in the graduate education program. Just a few years before, David had all but given up hope of becoming a doctor.

"In 1961, my father had just passed away and my family had no money," David recalls. "There was no way I could have afforded to attend medical school without help."

A college graduate with an English degree—plus all the science requirements for medical school—he applied and was accepted at several medical schools, including UB, which was the first to accept him. UB also went further to recruit David, offering him the financial support he needed.

"UB gave me the opportunity to follow my dream and admitted me with a full scholarship," David says.

The couple earned their UB graduate degrees in 1965 and moved, first to Virginia, then Connecticut before returning to Western New York, where David, a native of Lewiston, New York, completed his medical training in Rochester.

Then came their move to New Hampshire, where David set up a solo practice as an orthopedic surgeon and where they would remain for four decades.

"I am most proud that as I was able to bring my skills to all in need without worrying about their ability to pay, something that 'modern' practices probably can't do because of all the expenses they face," David says. "I practiced until my recent retirement at age 71—a true labor of love!"

Giving Back to UB

In appreciation, the couple has given back to UB. They worked with the Office of Gift Planning, and through private giving and a bequest, established a scholarship fund for medical students.

"Our endowment was inspired by the fact that UB was the first medical school to accept me and more importantly, to offer me an essentially full scholarship, without which I could not have attended," David says.

The Publows made their gift to benefit medical students who are facing the same desire to study medicine—and who have the same financial need—that David had back in the early 1960s.

"My hope is that our gift will help in some small part to enable another needful man or woman to follow their dream into the medical profession. Through this gift, we hope to pass the torch to a student in need, to give someone else a chance to become a physician."

You Can Leave a Legacy at UB

Making a planned gift allows you to establish a legacy at UB while helping students fulfill their dreams. For more information, please visit our website or contact Wendy Irving, Esq. at (877) 825-3422 or