Universities & Tobacco

An Insidious Obstacle to Tobacco Control

Around Campus

Several universities in the US have scholarships, professorships, hospitals, and even medical schools that have been endowed by and named in honor of tobacco industry figures. Duke University has at least 27 professorships endowed by the Duke Foundation (established by tobacco magnate James B. Duke) including one in radiation oncology, as well as an RJ Reynolds Professorship of Medicine and Philip Morris Minority Scholarships. Bowman Gray School of Medicine is named for a past president of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. New York University’s Tisch Hospital is named for the late controlling owner of Lorillard Tobacco, since absorbed into Reynolds American, US arm of British Am1erican Tobacco (BAT) The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has an endowed professorship of social responsibility named for a former head of the National Association of Tobacco Distributors. (In 2014 the university’s board voted not to divest tobacco stocks.) Virginia Commonwealth University has a Philip Morris Endowed Chair in lnternational Business. Syracuse University has an endowed chair in business and government policy named for a past president of United States Tobacco Company, which popularized smokeless tobacco. In the UK, Cambridge University has an endowed chair named for a former chairman of the board of BAT.