For more than five years, Dr. Robert Butler had been working with Columbia University on one of his many visionary ideas- one that sought to sustain and strengthen the mission and impact of his International Longevity Center (ILC-USA) by bringing it to Columbia University. He felt that the optimal positioning for the ILC-USA would be to anchor it in Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health; from that perch it would extend across the University.
Columbia University's Provost conducted a survey of University faculty's interests in aging, and analyzed the import of longevity and aging for society, domestically and globally. The conclusion was that these were matters that a great university should take a lead on, and that bringing the ILC-USA to Columbia would unify University faculty toward focusing on these issues so critical for our collective future.
The Mailman School's new strategic plan, which includes healthy aging as a core objective for its research and education, embraced the advent of the ILCUSA. Up until three days before his death, Dr. Butler worked with me and Dr. John (Jack) Rowe, chair of the Board of the Mailman School and professor of Health Policy and Management, to design the goals for the ILC-USA at Columbia and plan the move. As part of this process, we conducted a Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health to lay out some of the issues to be tackled for faculty and students (seewww.mailman. …