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Hundreds Gather to Honor Mel Zuckerman, Public Health Champion

 HSIB Forum during the Mel Zuckerman tribute event

Hundreds of friends, colleagues, faculty, staff, students, and community members gathered at a tribute event to honor Mel Zuckerman whose founding gift established the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Mel changed the world with his passion to promote health and wellness for all.

Mel Zuckerman’s innovative vision, generosity, and support for the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and so many other organizations touched millions of lives. We are so grateful for the time we spent with him and are humbled by the legacy he left.

On Monday, April 17, hundreds of friends, colleagues, faculty, staff, students, and community members gathered at a tribute event to honor Mel Zuckerman. Several speakers from different parts of Mel’s life spoke about the profound and positive impact that he had on them personally, and on the greater Tucson community. It was a moving program that touched the hearts of everyone who attended, both in-person and through the livestream video. You can watch the video recording of the Mel Zuckerman tribute program on the college’s YouTube channel.

To begin the program, Dean Iman Hakim shared her memories of Mel as a friend and longtime supporter of the college whose compassion and generosity changed thousands of lives.

Next, Tucson philanthropist and auto dealership owner Jim Click shared his remembrances about Mel’s vision for Canyon Ranch and the many times Mel joined with others to provide funding for important Tucson causes.

Former University of Arizona basketball star and community leader Bob Elliott remembered how Mel and the Zuckerman family supported him during his years at the university and beyond. Elliott spoke of the lifelong bond of friendship he had with Mel that continues with the Zuckerman family.

Mel’s longtime friend and business partner Jerry Cohen recounted Mel’s generosity and kindness, and shared memories about experiences with Mel including hikes, rafting trips, and Mel’s appreciation of peanut M&Ms.

Nicole Zuckerman-Morris, Mel’s oldest granddaughter, expressed her gratitude for everyone who was there to remember her beloved grandfather. She remembered Mel’s love of the University of Arizona Wildcats basketball team, and spoke about how Mel modeled his generosity and kindness for his family to teach them about the power of philanthropy to change lives.

Finally, Dean Hakim thanked all the speakers and called upon everyone assembled to remember Mel’s legacy of compassion, generosity, and dedication to public health.

Tribute Event Video   Event Photo Gallery   Health Sciences Photos

A Life of Philanthropy and Impact

A philanthropist, wellness pioneer and public health champion Mel Zuckerman’s generosity launched the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, supported dozens of local organizations, provided public health students with scholarships, and recently funded a new Health and Medical Careers High School as part of the Pima JTED Career and Technical Education District.

As a founding funder of the College of Public Health along with his wife Enid Zuckerman, Mel changed the lives of more than 5000 public health graduates who now work to promote public health and prevent disease in all 50 states and around the world. His philanthropy continues through the Zuckerman Family Foundation that gives support for education, health, and wellness programs in our Southern Arizona community, programs that have touched thousands of lives. 

Mel is survived by his wife, Enid; his two children, Amy and Jay (Stephanie); his grandchildren Nicole (Ken), Talia, Colton and Riley; his two great-grandchildren, Chloe and Asher; his sister and brother-in-law Paula and Arthur Molk; his many nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

Dean Iman Hakim

Dean Hakim shared her appreciation for her friend Mel

Voice message from Enid Zuckerman

An audio message from Enid Zuckerman

Jim Click Jr.

Jim Click Jr. shared stories of his friendship with Mel

Bob Elliott with the Zuckerman Family

Bob Elliott and his family with the Zuckerman family.

Jerry Cohen

Jerry Cohen spoke of his long friendship with Mel

Nicole Zuckerman-Morris, JD

Nicole Zuckerman-Morris, JD, shared memories of her grandfather

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic