Planning for the future while making a difference today, alumnus gives back to the School of Medicine

September 24, 2018Dr. Eastman

On a Friday afternoon, Jay Eastman M.D. '72, Res. '74, made the trip to the Wayne State University School of Medicine during the lunch hour to speak to a group of approximately 50 medical students about his lifelong passion: ambulatory pediatrics. An alumnus and practicing pediatrician, Dr. Eastman felt strongly that it was important to engage with students as they begin to take their first steps toward their careers.

"I was pleased to see how many students were there at the Medical Specialty Luncheon interested in learning about the specialty," Dr. Eastman said. "It's really enjoyable to volunteer in this way, and I had fun watching people learn more about pediatrics."

Dr. Eastman's passion for the specialty, the school and its students has inspired him to contribute annually to the Medical Alumni Annual Fund for many years. These gifts provide the Alumni Association with the necessary resources to put on events such as the Medical Specialty Luncheon and support student organizations.

"I want to support young people who want to practice," Dr. Eastman said. "I would like to see all Wayne State medical students have the same opportunities that I did."

A dedicated alumnus, Dr. Eastman credits the School of Medicine with opening the door to his successful career. His passion for pediatrics was sparked, and then catalyzed, by rotations at Children's Hospital of Michigan while he was a medical student.

"Going through rotations, you fall in love with each specialty while you're doing it. But my excitement for pediatrics stayed long after my rotation was done," Dr. Eastman said. "That surprised me. I never expected to go into pediatrics, but the constant shifting of years, the decisions you have to make quickly going room to room, seeing the wide spectrum of patients, all of these things have made my career interesting and fun."

Through gifts to the Alumni Association, Dr. Eastman has seen the tangible impact of his generosity. But he also wanted to ensure that future generations of physicians will continue to have the same valuable training experiences as present-day medical students. Planning for the future, Dr. Eastman and his wife, Mrs. Linda Eastman, recently pledged to create the Dr. Jay and Linda Eastman Endowed Fund for Ambulatory Pediatrics Research and Education in the School of Medicine. The estate gift will provide the funds necessary for the school's high-quality faculty to dedicate the time, technology and talents necessary to remain on the forefront of pediatrics training and medical student education.

"While I was working at Children's Hospital," Dr. Eastman said, "I saw there was a need for help with equipment and research materials. My rotations at Children's and my time at the School of Medicine opened the door for me to have a wonderful experience and truly help people. It has been really enjoyable to help the place that helped me."

Through their generosity, the Eastmans hope to inspire and motivate future generations of patient-centered physicians to explore their interests and engage in leading-edge clinical training. By committing his time to events such as the Medical Specialty Luncheon, annually giving to the Medical Alumni Annual Fund and committing to an endowed planned gift, Dr. Eastman has truly influenced—and will continue to influence—the lives of countless generations of medical students.

To learn more about how to support the School of Medicine, or to establish a scholarship or similar departmental fund, contact Patty Paquin in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at 313-577-0026 or