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Success of fundraising program shows confidence in university

SUPPORTERS OF THE UNIVERSITY at Buffalo have provided in excess of $15 million in private gifts and grants to UB during the 1994-95 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Over the past three years, UB's annual philanthropic income has grown by nearly 50 percent.

"The alumni and friends and stakeholders who give to UB have been more and more generous," said UB President William R. Greiner. "Their support tells us that they share our excitement about the progress that the university is making-it says they have confidence in UB. That means a great deal to us.

"We are going to need that confidence and support all the more urgently in the months and years ahead," he continued. "In this very difficult budget year for New York, our state leadership has made it plain that UB-and all other SUNY campuses-are going to have to count less on state appropriations and more on other sources of support. We are confronting very, very serious fiscal challenges," he said.

The state financial allocation to UB in 1994-95 comprised only about one third of the campus' total budget, and in the current year the percentage is considerably less.

In addition, Greiner said that "gifts from UB's friends are going to be an absolutely essential underpinning for our continued progress. So far, what the increase in giving has signaled is that our supporters want UB to maintain and build on its excellence in teaching and research and service. That's exactly what we intend to do. We are really going to depend on private gifts and grants to make that happen."

"We are proud to step forward as loyal alumni and friends of UB at this critical time in its history," said Lawrence P. Castellani, chief executive officer of Top Markets Inc., and chair of the UB Foundation. "I know that I speak for many alumni and friends, as well as for my wife Joan, when I say we believe that charitable support for the University at Buffalo is a meaningful and far-reaching gift. The benefits are felt throughout our region, state and nation."

"There is a growing group of volunteer leaders-some long-standing friends of UB and some new friends-who are immensely generous with their time and care and energy in advising us and helping to extend our vision and activities. They work with us through the University Council, the UB Foundation Board, the President's Board of Visitors, our Regional Roundtable, and a range of advisory committees," said Greiner.

"As a rule, these same people are also leading the way by making their own magnanimous contributions. That's another great indicator of the quality of what UB is doing: the supporters who play an active part in our operations believe in us. They let us know that they are proud to dedicate personal resources to us. It's an inspiration to all of us who are committed to keeping UB strong."

During the 1994-95 reporting year, more than 26,000 donors throughout the nation and world provided gifts and grants to UB, an increase of 15 percent over three years ago.

"The growing number of gifts to UB is truly meaningful," said John N. Walsh III, chairman and chief executive officer of Walsh Duffield Companies Inc., and chair of the UB Foundation Development Committee. "Participation in the UB Fund indicates loyalty, interest and appreciation for this fine institution. More and more corporations, foundations and individuals are choosing to support UB in recognition of its truly extraordinary contributions and accomplishments. A lot of alumni and friends who have not been involved in the past made first-time gifts to UB, and some made more than one gift to UB. The university's unique role and its compelling case for support are becoming better known.

"Likewise, the university understands that each year it must demonstrate that its programs continue to merit the investment from its friends and alumni. Ultimately, the donor's dollars belong to the donor and UB's receipt of those dollars is a sacred trust."

UB is recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished universities, by measures including its membership in the prestigious and exclusive 57-member Association of American Universities (AAU); UB stands as the only public AAU university located in all of New England and New York State.

"While the university must absorb dramatic state funding cuts, forward-thinking friends and alumni understand the importance of UB's role as one of the nation's leading public research universities, and they know that private philanthropy helps UB to maintain its margin of excellence," Walsh said. "Accordingly, the university is committed to the continued professionalism of its development efforts. Educational institutions of value know that they must demonstrate the excellence of their product if they are to enhance critical budget support from non-earned income."

Ronald H. Stein, the university's vice president for advancement and development, said, "The generous support of our alumni and friends and top businesses and corporations is an invaluable asset to UB, and a great inspiration for the students, faculty and staff. We value their involvement in alumni and other volunteer activities, we value their interest and participation in numerous campus initiatives, and we are deeply gratified by their financial support through charitable gifts and grants. Each and every contributor to the 1994-95 UB Fund has our thanks."

The UB Fund includes all gifts and grants collected in support of all university programs. (The total includes collections only, and does not reflect several generous formal pledges UB received during the fiscal year.) The fund includes contributions to any academic area, the libraries, athletics, the physical plant, faculty support, student aid, research, or equipment. The UB Fund year extends from July 1 to June 30 each year.

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