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Jefferson Mourns Long-Time Benefactor, Dorrance H. Hamilton


Dorrance H. Hamilton

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Mrs. Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, a long-time Jefferson citizen and friend, a generous benefactor and one of our city’s leading philanthropists and socialites.

Mrs. Hamilton had a way of putting her stamp on everything she did. That’s certainly true at Jefferson, where the Dorrance H. Hamilton Building stands at the academic and geographic heart of our campus. In 2005, her tremendous benevolence enabled Jefferson to construct its first new teaching facility in more than 40 years. It provided a home to our world-class simulation lab where thousands of students continue to train and benefit from an interprofessional approach to education. Her wisdom, foresight and generosity have transformed this campus, shaped Jefferson’s educational vision and enriched our surrounding community.

Mrs. Hamilton has made gifts to Jefferson over 47 years as one of our most generous benefactors. Her intent was always to put the patient and the student first, evidenced through her ongoing support of research, professorships and scholarships, as well as breast imaging and other clinical programs.

She also left her mark—a special mix of charm and authority—on the Jefferson community when she served as president of the Women’s Board and became our first female trustee. Caregivers and healthcare professionals who visit, graduate from Jefferson and serve their communities’ needs have in some way been shaped by Mrs. Hamilton’s leadership, service, generosity and philanthropy. 

It has been our joy and a privilege to partner with Mrs. Hamilton, and we shall miss her understated elegance, boundless energy, creative flair for business and her signature wide-brimmed hats. In our hearts, she will always be, as Philadelphia magazine put it, “The Last Great Lady.”

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a great friend to Jefferson and to all of us. Jefferson owes Mrs. Hamilton a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay, but will always celebrate.

You can read the full obituary and more about the extraordinary life of Mrs. Dorrance "Dodo" Hamilton at