Dr. Herbert Schaumburg ’52 attended St. John’s as one of its first scholarship recipients, and is now determined to give back to the institution that supported the beginning of his career in academic medicine.
Natives of Minnesota, the Schaumburg family moved to Houston after his father was relocated to open a new branch for his company. After a battle with polio at age 12 left Dr. Schaumburg unable to navigate stairs easily, his parents began to look for schooling options that would fit his needs. After meeting with Mr. Chidsey for the first time, he recalls, “Mr. Chidsey believed in me, and told my father that if I worked hard, I could receive a scholarship each year.”
Dr. Schaumburg remembers a different institution than the St. John’s we know today. In the beginning, the campus was tiny, and there was a constant battle for space as the School was being built. He remembers hosting classes in the basement and walking outdoor from class to class on pathways made of wood covering the mud. As a teenager, he also recalled wondering if St. John’s was going to make it and hoping that it would.
After graduating St. John’s, Dr. Schaumburg went on to Harvard College, a dream that would not have been possible without the education afforded to him at St. John’s. At Harvard, he also received a full scholarship before graduating with honors in 1956, and receiving an MD degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in 1960 on another full-tuition scholarship. Subsequently, he pursued post graduate training at Vanderbilt University, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the National Hospital for Neurologic Diseases (London, England), and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Schaumburg is giving back to the institutions that shaped him. In his estate, he has allocated his Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to be split between the financial aid programs at St. John’s School, Harvard College, and the Washington University School of Medicine— one-third to each institution that awarded him scholarships, and gave him opportunities that he could not have otherwise imagined.
Dr. Schaumburg, Professor and Chairperson of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Centers, now resides in New York with his wife, Dr. Lucy Brown, a fellow neuroscientist.