A decade ago, Maxine Adler brought her cat Du Bee to the University of California, Davis, veterinary hospital for treatment of his cancer. The cat later died, but his very large legacy lives on.
Adler was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago as she crossed a street near her home in Florida. But before she died, she bequeathed more than $7.6 million in her pet's memory to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Now that Adler's estate is fully settled, Du Bee's name is being used to lure top scientists and graces a prestigious endowed fund for cancer research. Any breakthrough treatments discovered as a result of Adler's bequest will carry the cat's moniker.
Adler's gift is one of the largest single donations in the veterinary school's history, said Tom Venturino, the institution's assistant dean of development. "We've had others in the $10 million range, but this is right up there," Venturino said.