The Population Council received a significant gift this year in honor of Dr Elizabeth “Betty” Price, a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, women’s reproductive rights, and equal opportunities for all to reach their potential.
Dr. Price packed a world of experience and service into one lifetime. Born in 1920 in New Jersey, she was driven by an endless passion for knowledge and a drive to making this world a better place. During World War II, Dr. Price learned to fly a plane so that she could join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, before going on to become a doctor and a public health practitioner at a time when few women populated our medical schools.
She served the field of public health as a doctor in Nepal in the 1950s, and later in a refugee camp in Malaysia for Vietnamese refugees. Dr. Price was Director of Community Health for the State of Alaska, making sure that even the most remote villages – reachable only by bush plane much of the year – had basic health services. She traveled extensively and adventurously throughout her life, including a voyage around the world on a “Semester at Sea” program with students a quarter of her age, and earned a Master’s Degree in storytelling in her 80’s.
Dr. Price left her savings to support organizations that impact the causes she was so passionate about. Her gift to the Population Council will help our scientists and research pursue solutions to critical global health and development challenges, across our biomedical and social and behavioral science portfolios. Dr. Price’s life served as an inspiration for all who knew her, and the Population Council is grateful to be able to use this contribution in the spirit of her life, to make our world a better and more just place.
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