Alumni Couple Donates $1 Million to Medical Center

Mar. 31, 2011

Karen Webb Sutherland, a 1961 graduate of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and her husband, Robert M. Sutherland, Ph.D., a 1966 graduate of the University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, have given $1 million in support of an endowed scholarship and an endowment for research and technology commercialization.

The Karen Webb Sutherland and Robert M. Sutherland Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund will boost scholarships and financial aid for students.

“Keeping the School competitive yet also within reach of the best and brightest students, who often depend on financial assistance, is critically important. Karen and Bob’s gift is a generous and substantial gift that will advance us toward this goal,” said School of Nursing Dean Kathy P. Parker, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Income from the Robert M. Sutherland and Karen Webb Sutherland Endowed Medical Technology Development Fund will be competitively awarded to faculty of the School of Medicine and Dentistry to provide gap funding for discoveries and emerging technologies before they are ready for commercially motivated investment.

“Bob and Karen’s commitment is an investment in our faculty, our students and our future,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of the Medical Center. “They have demonstrated extraordinary leadership through their years of service to the University and long-time financial support. We are grateful for their inspiring example of what it takes to move an institution forward.”

Karen Webb Sutherland is a past member of the School of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Council and was active in the School’s Future of Care campaign. She is a former president of the Association of Auxiliaries to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and board member of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. She has extensive experience in not-for-profit volunteer fundraising.

Robert Sutherland, who received a doctorate in biophysics from the School of Medicine and Dentistry, specializes in the management and direction of biomedical research programs in both academia and business. He is senior investment officer for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, where he previously served as vice president of commercialization. He has held faculty appointments in biophysics and radiation oncology at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Rochester, and Stanford University. He is past member of the executive committee of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni Council and currently is a member of the School’s National Council.

The Sutherlands live in Menlo Park, Calif.