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Harold Bornstein, M.D. ’53 celebrates with Megan Rowlands ’16 after her clinical elective in Mexico, which was funded by Dr. Bornstein and his late wife, Maureen. The Bornsteins have made numerous other gifts to Yale in the form of charitable gift annuities.

For a saver who started out with little, this gift provides income for life

When Harold Bornstein, M.D. ’53 started his career, he spent little time thinking about philanthropy. He was too busy making ends meet. He began his medical education on the G.I. Bill and finished it on scholarship. His pay as a resident, also at Yale, started at $25 a month. “I made more money as a night blood bank technician on call every third night than I did as a doctor,” he recalled.

He went on to build a successful pediatrics practice. Dr. Bornstein and his late wife, Maureen, were savers. A long list of organizations around Connecticut have benefited from their generosity, with the bulk of the Bornsteins’ philanthropy supporting Yale School of Medicine.

An extrovert with keen curiosity, Dr. Bornstein said that philanthropy allows him to better know the organizations he cares about and the people involved in them. His gifts to Yale fund a scholarship, because his own education showed him the importance of student financial aid. Having dinner at Mory’s with the recipient of his scholarship is one of many “fringe benefits” that come with giving. He also supports medical students on international fellowships, in which they learn first-hand how health care is delivered in resource-poor settings.

His preferred method of giving is the charitable gift annuity. The principal goes to the school, which holds it for Dr. Bornstein’s lifetime, while he receives quarterly income from the fund. “It’s a win-win,” he said.