FAU receives $28 million donation for medical students

John and Ann Wood gifted the pledge to support scholarships for students enrolled in the College of Medicine.


Courtesy of FAU

Me & My Bride 1955 – 2005

Rayna Cohen, Staff Writer

Boca Raton residents John and Ann Wood donated $28 million to FAU to support scholarships for students enrolled in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. 

This gift is the largest in FAU’s history, as well as being the largest known gift to a medical school at a Florida public university. 

The scholarship, created in the memory of their son, Robert Wood, aims to help cover the tuition of medical students, who pay $35,000 of in-state tuition as well as fees per year, totaling $140,000 for four years. Students coming from out of state can also participate, and will receive the scholarship for the in-state tuition rate.

“This extraordinary gift from Ann and John Wood will enhance the University’s ability to attract and retain outstanding medical students from an array of backgrounds, and support them on their journey to become knowledgeable and caring physicians,” President John Kelly said to FAU News Desk.

The Woods have previously made gifts to the College of Medicine, including in 2021, which was used to establish the Robert A. Wood FAU Medical Scholars Fund. This was created to support 10 medical students through the four years of medical school, and helped an additional 20 students when they increased their impact in 2022. Their third donation continues to build on the initial support.

John and Ann Wood relocated to Boca Raton in 1983 having spent 18 years in the prestressed concrete business building bridges, piers, and cruise ship terminals throughout the Caribbean. They continued to operate the firm from Boca Raton until its sale in 2005.

After the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School, they gave 10 four-year scholarships to graduates of the school each year, with 53 currently being assisted. After learning of the debt medical students accumulated, they decided to include FAU’s College of Medicine in their scholarship program.

The College of Medicine offers a high-tech curriculum, as well as partnerships with three independent health systems in Palm Beach County. Their programs are designed to bring quality care to the surrounding communities, including underserved ones.

As such, they have been recognized by U.S News and World Report, which ranked them No. 61 for “Most Graduates Practicing in Medically Underserved Areas” and No. 85 for “Most Graduates Practicing in Rural Areas.”

Rayna Cohen is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].