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Cancer Center Receives $4.5 Million Donation from Alumnus Estate

Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine has received a $4.5 million gift from the estate of alumnus LeRoy Fink, M.D. (Med ’56), to support the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. Fink’s gift is one of the largest in the School of Medicine’s history.

Leroy Fink, M.D.
Leroy Fink, M.D., (Med '56), followed in his father's footsteps in graduating from SLU. Submitted photo

Fink, a lifelong supporter of the University, named the School of Medicine as a beneficiary of his estate, providing funds that will be used to support the Cancer Center, specifically with its research and clinical care.

A native of Edwardsville, Illinois, Fink died in January 2018 at age 87.

He followed in his father’s footsteps in graduating from SLU. His father graduated from SLU’s dental school in 1916. Following his 1956 graduation, Fink remained an active supporter of SLU, assisting in planning numerous class reunions as a volunteer and providing many gifts to support student scholarships and programs in the School of Medicine.

"We are incredibly grateful for Dr. Fink's longtime support of Saint Louis University's School of Medicine, and we are delighted to receive this gift,” said Robert Wilmott, M.D., acting dean of the School of Medicine. “I am proud to have alumni who care so much for the future of the University and its students. Dr. Fink touched many lives during his lifetime, and his legacy will touch countless more through the work we will be able to do in the Cancer Center."

The funds will support the center’s work in cancers of the head and neck, prostate, breast, lung, blood and hepatobiliary system. The gift will support research and clinical care, as well as the Cancer Center’s active focus on clinical trials and its outpatient bone marrow transplant program.

“LeRoy was an attentive surgeon and often charged little or no fee for patients who could not afford to pay; he received much satisfaction from positively affecting the lives of others in his practice, and many patients sought his advice on personal matters,” Fink’s nephew, Stephen Mudge (Law ’77), said.

“He was a lifelong learner and an avid watercolorist, and in this pursuit traveled the entire world,” Mudge continued. “He was a close friend of Father Paul Reinert and had many charitable interests. LeRoy was a man who cared deeply for those less fortunate and was a devoted member of his parish. I believe his generosity and career of service to others followed the mission of the University.”

In addition to his years in medical practice and volunteerism for SLU, Fink received awards and recognition for his skill in watercolor painting, including the Alice Leonard Memorial Award in the 90th Annual Exhibition of the National Watercolor Society. He was also accepted into the 28th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors show in Old Forge, New York, and received awards for his work in juried exhibitions with the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, the Kentucky Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society.

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.