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Upstate Medical University announces naming gift for the College of Medicine

Upstate Medical University has announced a $25 million estate gift—its largest in history—to benefit the university’s College of Medicine.

In recognition of the gift, the College of Medicine will be named the Alan and Marlene Norton College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University. Alan Norton is a 1966 alumnus of the Upstate College of Medicine.

“We are extremely grateful to the Nortons for this most generous gift,” said Mantosh Dewan, MD, president of Upstate Medical University. “This remarkable gift will help us retain and develop outstanding faculty and teaching to benefit our students. The Norton’s gift will elevate the college’s stature and set us on a solid future of sustained excellence for years to come.”

Lawrence Chin, MD, dean of the Alan and Marlene Norton College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University, applauded the gift. “A gift of this magnitude from an alumnus of the college is accepted with great appreciation and underscores the role the college had in an individual’s successful medical career.”

“I am grateful for the quality education that I received from the SUNY Upstate Medical University,” Norton said. “This provided me the opportunity for a career in medical research and practice. Our estate gift to the Upstate College of Medicine is to demonstrate our appreciation and help the college to continue its excellence in teaching and innovation.”

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in biochemistry, Alan Norton entered the SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine. As a medical student his greatest interest was in research and while at Upstate he co-authored two articles on the electrophysiology of the eye.

Upon graduation from Upstate in 1966, Alan Norton completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University and a fellowship at Harvard University’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, now known as Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He spent two years with the National Institutes of Health doing research on the electrophysiology of the retina and published more than a dozen research articles in peer review journals.

Alan Norton served as a visiting faculty member at the Stein Eye Institute at UCLA for more than 20 years. He also had his own ophthalmology practice and served as a consultant to three different hospitals in his sub specialty of retinal diseases.

Marlene Norton was raised in the Midwest, where she obtained her nursing degree. She worked in hospitals and became specialized in assisting with ophthalmological surgeries. She was highly regarded for her expertise by several ophthalmologists and served as an office manager with numerous responsibilities.

“The Norton’s gift will forever have a positive influence on the future success of our College of Medicine,” said Medical Alumni Foundation Executive Director Paul Norcross. “I personally add my sincerest thanks to Alan and Marlene for choosing Upstate for this significant gift.”