By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A doctor who graduated from Columbia University's medical school and went on to become CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. has donated $50 million to Columbia University Medical Center.
The money will go toward a new building at CUMC's Washington Heights campus to be named in honor of the donors, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and his wife, Diana.
Roy Vagelos graduated in 1954 from Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons. He met his wife Diana at a party when she was a first year student at Barnard College, according to a statement from CUMC.
Vagelos went on to work as a researcher at the National Institutes of Health where he focused on lipids and enzymes. He joined drug company Merck in 1975.
The new building is part of a $185 million renovation of CUMC's 20-acre campus.
"The new building will have the best possible design that is attractive, comfortable, and appropriate for the intense kind of education that our students receive," Vagelos said in a statement. "The formal learning space will have state-of-the-art electronics that facilitate the delivery of information to students."