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Advocate of women in medicine supports Sackler's new mothers

Mothers of newborns now will have a comfortable, private nursing area on campus to express and store milk for their babies, thanks to the generosity of a longtime friend of Tufts. Natalie V. Zucker, widow of Milton O. Zucker, M30, gave $50,000 to the dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Professor Naomi Rosenberg, to support women's initiatives at the school.

"We are supportive of mothers and young families, and we want to do everything we can to make them feel comfortable and integrate them back into their work, studies, or training," said Rosenberg, herself the mother of two grown children, who meets a few times a year with other women in the Tufts community to discuss challenges in the workplace. "We want them to feel as though they still have the proper balance with family."

The room, located in the M & V building in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, has been available for the past six months. Renovations, including comfortable furniture, soft lighting, a privacy curtain, a washing station for equipment, and milk storage facilities, are underway.

"I love it. I think it's just wonderful," said Natalie Zucker, a practicing psychologist for 50 years. She often visits campus and recently met two of the women who use the new facility. "It was so nice to meet them," she said. "They were ecstatic."

The Zuckers began their philanthropy in 1985 by endowing the faculty lounge in the Sackler building, establishing a professorship in rheumatology and immunology, and creating the first faculty research prize that recognized women in research on the medical campus.

After her husband's death in 1995, Natalie Zucker focused her philanthropy primarily on opportunities to support women in medicine. She created the Natalie Zucker professorship for outstanding women scholars and the Zucker Center for Women Scholars.

"She's really had a great impact," said Rosenberg. "Her gifts don't just send a message to women faculty, they send a message to all women who come here. It gives them great role models."