The LSU Health New Orleans Foundation has received a $7.5 million gift from the estate of Marcia and Billy Beer. It is the largest gift in the Foundation’s history.

The endowed donation will support four-year tuition scholarships to LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. The scholarships will be funded by the interest earned on the gift, leaving the principal intact to grow for new scholarships forever. They will allow qualified students who would otherwise be unable to afford medical school to become physicians.

“This transformative gift will allow the Foundation to provide ten full medical school tuition scholarships to the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine in perpetuity,” notes Dr. Steve Nelson, Interim Chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans.

The donation was jointly announced by Mr. Michael Flick, Executor and long-term friend and colleague of Marcia and Billy Beer, Brian P. Jakes, Sr., Chairman and Interim CEO of the LSU Health New Orleans Foundation and Vice Chairman Al Bienvenue, Dr. Steve Nelson, LSU Health New Orleans Interim Chancellor, and Dr. Angela McLean, Associate Dean of Admissions at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

The gift agreement contains a unique request from the Beers: “…that upon completion of their medical school and residency training and upon the beginning of their medical practice that each scholarship recipient demonstrates an appreciation of their gift by offering, when practical, one day of free medical care each month to a patient unable to afford care.”

The Beer scholarships will become effective for the 2024 incoming class. The scholarship applications will be reviewed by the LSU Health New Orleans Foundation Development Committee, and the scholarships will be awarded, upon approval, by a separate, independent Scholarship Committee utilizing a sophisticated Awards Management System (AMS).

“These scholarships will permit the admissions department to attract Louisiana applicants who are offered scholarships by out-of-state medical schools that often have greater scholarship resources,” says Dr. McLean. “This gift helps level the playing field, and the Marcia and Billy Beer legacy will live through the talented medical students fortunate enough to receive this extraordinarily generous scholarship gift.”

Billy Beer had a career in finance, and Marcia Beer was an Executive Vice President of a major local bank before Billy’s illness again connected him to LSU Health New Orleans. The excellent care Billy received from LSU Health physicians throughout his adult life managing his polio and post-polio syndrome inspired the couple to name the LSU Health Sciences Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate.

“Over the years, Christina South, Director of Development for the LSU Health New Orleans Foundation, and Dr. Nelson became close friends with Julie and me and with Marcia and Billy Beer,” Mr. Flick explains. “They were instrumental in ensuring that the wishes of the Beer gift were fulfilled, and their legacy of giving would improve the health of many.”

Please visit the LSU Health New Orleans Foundation website for more information about the Beers and their generous support of LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

LSU Health New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or

LSU Health Foundation New Orleans is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, public charity to support and promote the charitable, scientific and educational mission of LSU Health New Orleans. The Foundation works with the faculty, researchers, students and families who are engaged with LSU Health New Orleans’ six schools and Centers of Excellence to determine where funds are needed immediately and where they will be needed in the future. For more information, visit