Jim Steele’s Story

Dr. James H. Steele, MPH ’42—known today as the father of veterinary public health—is one of the oldest living HSPH graduates. He was a scholarship recipient as a student here 70 years ago. Cecil Drinker, dean at the time, personally helped to finance his education during a period of hardship. And virtually every year for the past 40 years, Dr. Steele has made a gift to scholarships at HSPH in Dean Drinker’s honor.

I am inspired and humbled by this story because it perfectly illustrates the powerful multiplying effect of an HSPH education to change the world. Dr. Steele founded a new field in public health and helped to change our understanding of how diseases are transmitted between animals and people. His work has saved countless lives. And he continues to make a difference today by supporting supporting tomorrow’s public health leaders and innovators.

Unfortunately, current resources only allow us to offer full financial aid packages to a small fraction of qualified students. For every talented student like Dr. Steele who received the support he or she needed to embark on a world-changing career at HSPH, financial constraints force too many others to turn away from the field. That is why we count on the support of our incredible community of public health leaders to help make an HSPH education possible for every qualified student.

Please honor Dr. Steele’s tremendous spirit of gift-giving, and his lifelong commitment to public health work and teaching, by making a gift to the HSPH Scholarship Fund today.

With enormous gratitude and my warmest wishes,

Ellie Starr
Vice Dean for External Relations
Harvard School of Public Health