Penn Medicine Office of Planned Giving

Ferdinand G. Weisbrod, M’42, G.M.’50

During his undergraduate years at Penn, Ferdinand G. Weisbrod, M.D., G.M., remembers reading about the life of the industrialist/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. He never forgot Carnegie’s personal philosophy about wealth: Give money to your children but “don’t overdo it — too much money can make them soft and nonproductive.” Instead, Carnegie advised, leave most of your wealth to philanthropy.

“I decided then that if ever I achieved some sort of wealth that I would present it to the University — the place that was so important to me in finding my place in the world,” says Dr. Weisbrod.

During the next six decades, Dr. Weisbrod married, had three children, and embarked on careers in medicine and real estate. A combination of timing and talent led to his switch to real estate. In the early 1970s, problems with the family real estate holdings led Weisbrod to try his hand at the field. He figured he could do a better job of managing the properties than the professionals. He was right. What began as a side job eventually became an all-consuming second career. Taking advantage of a booming real estate market, he eventually acquired 35 properties. Then, he created two charitable remainder unitrusts that ultimately will fund a professorship in the School of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology, his original field of interest.

“There are so many exciting things happening in medicine today,” he says. “The pace of discovery is accelerating all the time.”

Dr. Weisbrod’s generous gift also serves him well. In addition to obtaining a sizable current income tax deduction, he will receive a lifetime income stream.

In his philanthropy, Dr. Weisbrod also hopes to impart the lesson he learned from Carnegie. “I think it’s important to steer all Penn graduates toward a policy of giving gifts to the University, rather than to Uncle Sam — and also to avoid giving too much to your children,” he says. “Money can create more problems than it solves. But the gifts to the University are going to solve problems.”

Dr. Weisbrod’s charitable remainder unitrusts are among the many creative gift opportunities that can benefit both the School of Medicine and its alumni.

Penn Medicine
Office of Planned Giving
Christine S. Ewan, J.D.
Executive Director, Planned Giving
3535 Market Street, Suite 750
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
215-898-9486 | Fax: 215-573-2186


Penn Planned Giving