Beloved faculty member leaves $4.5 million gift to UB medical school

Nov 17, 2017

The University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has received a $4.5 million bequest gift. The gift comes from the estate of a beloved faculty member who spent nearly 50 years of teaching at the medical school.

The gift to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences comes from the late Peter Nickerson, PhD.

“Peter was a man who was known for his warm outlook toward others,” remarked Claude Welch, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Political Science.

Peter Nickerson, pictured carrying the University Mace during a 2003 Convocation
Credit Photo from University at Buffalo

Welch was a longtime friend and colleague of Nickerson. He tells WBFO Nickerson was always generous with his time for his students and colleagues.

"I'm eternally grateful for everything he has done for me," stated Dr. Scott Darling.

“His door was always open. He would welcome them into his office. He would interact with them outside class. Students were always talking with him before and after the seminar. He was always jovial,” recalled Welch.  

Nickerson died at the age of 75 on February 2. His many achievements at the school included five terms with the UB Faculty Senate and chair of the Medical Faculty Council, plus his contributions in innovative programs at UB.

“He played a major role as a university citizen,” remarked Welch.

“Dr. Nickerson was one of the most dedicated people that I’ve known,” stated Dr. Scott Darling, 2003 UB medical student graduate who now serves a clinical assistant professor of orthopedics. Nickerson served as a mentor to Darling.

“He guided me through the pre-medical interview and helped rehearse some possible questions that they may ask. He really did influence me and helped get me to where I am today,” Darling noted. “I’m eternally grateful for everything he has done for me.”

Brand new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

UB plans to establish an endowed faculty position with $1.5 million of the gift and use the remaining $3 million to create a dean's fund at the medical school in Nickerson's name. The plan is subject to approval of the UB Council, SUNY Chancellor and SUNY Board of Trustees.