Mayo Clinic has received a $25 million gift from William A. and Carolyn D. Franke and family from Paradise Valley, Arizona. This transformative gift will support scholarships and operations, such as faculty development and curriculum innovation at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine – Arizona Campus. It is the largest contribution in the history of Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus.

In recognition of the gift, the Mayo Clinic Education Center at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona will be named the Mayo Clinic Franke Education Center.

Mr. William (Bill) Franke, one of Arizona’s most prominent business leaders, and his family long have been interested in education and its impact on the Arizona economy. The Franke family was drawn to Mayo Clinic School of Medicine’s commitment to educating diverse learners. This gift will guarantee scholarships are available to recruit the best and brightest students who choose their career based on passion rather than financial concerns or social background.

“We must redefine medical education and advance innovative medical education models if we are to meet the needs of patients and society in the 21st century,” says Fredric Meyer, M.D., executive dean of education, Mayo Clinic. “This gift holds great power to allow Mayo Clinic School of Medicine to advance this journey, allowing the school to continuously valuate and re-engineer the curriculum to provide the best educational programs and learning paradigms available in the world.” Dr. Meyer is the Juanita Kious Waugh Executive Dean for Education.

“The path to becoming a medical doctor is long and challenging,” says Mr. Franke. “Students face years of commitment at a significant financial cost. As a family, we are focused on making that journey less onerous in the hope that qualified, talented and in need students are not discouraged by the financial burden. We want them focused on the medical education that Mayo Clinic School of Medicine can provide.”

Physicians need more than traditional medical skills to succeed in the hospitals of tomorrow. The most promising students are looking for a more rigorous academic experience that incorporates advanced technology and opportunities for supplementary training. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is transforming medical education and research training to improve patient care, accelerate discovery and innovation, and advance the practice of medicine. Through a curriculum dedicated to lifelong education, students at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine learn from world-class faculty to exchange ideas and challenge traditional science with a never-ending quest for new knowledge. This philosophy has garnered the medical school the No. 6 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Medical Schools.

“This transformative gift from the Franke family provides more than scholarship and operational funding – it supports a foundation for continued growth of innovative and compassionate medicine in the southwest,” says Wyatt Decker, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic, and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “Our vision is that Arizona will become a national destination for medical education in addition to providing medical care for the most complex conditions. Our medical graduates will be innovators and leaders. They will continue to contribute to positive change on the local, national and global levels.”

The medical school is the flagship school of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, one of the largest postgraduate medical education system in North America. The college educates more than 4,000 students annually in four schools. In addition, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development educates 100,000 learners annually.