University officially begins largest fundraising effort ever
The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, officially unveiled in October with a goal of raising $1.2 billion by 2016, will play a significant role in the future of the Medical Center and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the University’s 161-year history, is designed to advance the University’s leadership in research, teaching, performance, and patient care, and to enhance its service to society.
The Meliora Challenge invokes the shared values and learning that have inspired generations of students, faculty, and staff to be “ever better,” the common translation of the University’s motto, Meliora.
The campaignis of vital importance to every part of the University, including the Medical Center and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. (M ’81, PhD ’81), chief executive officer of the Medical Center.
“More than half of the campaign goalâ€”$650 millionâ€“will support Medical Center and School of Medicine and Dentistry projects and programs,” Berk said. “This campaign will support the construction of a new Golisano Children’s Hospital, the excellent care we provide patients, and our ability to continue to have the best of faculties, to train physicians and to provide financial help to our medical students.”
More than $759 million of the $1.2 billion goal has been raised since the leadership phase of the effort began in 2005.
“We know our aspirations are high,” University President Joel Seligman said as he announced the campaign during a celebration at Meliora Weekend in October. “We share a dream: to be one of the leading universities of the 21st century, a community leader and builder, home to outstanding faculty, students, and staff. Together as one university we launch our campaign. Together we will make history.”
The Meliora Challenge is the first time the entire Universityâ€”all schools, units, programs, disciplines, and locationsâ€”is participating in a unified, coordinated effort to meet University-wide fundraising goals in order to achieve a University-wide vision. All private gifts, pledges, grants, and other support during the Campaign period will count toward the total.
A $30 million commitment by Ed Hajim, chairman of the University’s board of trustees and a 1958 graduate of the University, in support of scholarships and endowment to his namesake Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the largest gift thus far.
Rochester entrepreneur and philanthropist, B. Thomas Golisano, announced his $20 million gift to Golisano Children’s Hospital in July.
The Meliora Challenge will focus on five main objectives: $225 million for student support, primarily through endowed scholarships and fellowships; $350 million for faculty, primarily through endowed professorships; $375 million to support priority programs within the schools and units; $130 million for unrestricted support through the Annual Fund; and $120 million for renovations and new facilities.
The University hopes to significantly increase membership in the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society, which currently has more than 1,920 members who have made five-year commitments from $1,500 to $50,000 a year as part of the Campaign. Established in 2006, the George Eastman Circle is one of the fastest growing Annual Fund programs in the United States.
Richard Handler, a University trustee and a 1983 graduate of the University, and Cathy Jones Minehan, also a University trustee and a 1968 graduate, are the national co-chairs of the campaign.
For more about The Meliora Challenge, go to the website at http://campaign.rochester.edu.
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