Goucher College trustee reportedly spent millions to fund anti-vaccination movement

A member of Goucher College’s board of trustees is helping fuel anti-vaccination movements throughout the United States, spending millions of dollars alongside her husband to fund the efforts, according to a report Wednesday in The Washington Post.

Lisa Pagliaro Selz, who graduated from the private liberal arts college in Towson in 1973 and is on its board of trustees, according to its website, is half of a Manhattan couple that has given more than $3 million to groups that raise doubts about immunizations, the Post reported.


Selz and her husband, Bernard Selz, were also tied to funding that went toward anti-vaccination movements that fueled a measles outbreak in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, the Post reported.

The Selzes donated $1.05 million to Goucher College in 2017, according to their foundation’s tax filings.


A residence hall on campus — the Pagliaro Selz Hall — is named after them, and they have hosted events with former President José Antonio Bowen, including an event in 2015 at the Colony Club in New York, according to the college’s website.

A spokesperson for the college did not return multiple calls for comment. When called by a Baltimore Sun reporter Friday afternoon, a receptionist with the Selz Foundation said the couple is declining to comment.

While it is widely accepted within the scientific community that immunizations for diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella are not harmful to humans, there’s a growing chorus of activists who say the vaccines are linked to rises in autism and other diseases.

The United States has had 1,044 individual cases of the measles this year as of June 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with instances confirmed in 28 states, including Maryland. It’s the highest number of confirmed cases since 1992; the United States declared the disease eliminated in 2000.

According to the Post, Lisa Selz serves as president of Informed Consent Action Network, a charity that describes its mission as “investigating the safety of medical procedures, pharmaceutical drugs, and vaccines while educating the public of their right to ‘informed consent.’ ”

The Selz Foundation has provided three-fourths of the group’s funding, the Post reported.

Baltimore Sun reporter McKenna Oxenden contributed to this article.