UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Spring|Summer 2003
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Meeting the Challenge
Recent Gifts

UB Development
Generation to Generation

Meeting the Challenge

Donors attracted by projects that offer far-reaching research advances

  James M. Wadsworth, chair of the John R. Oishei Foundation board of directors, at a recent press conference announcing one of the multimillion dollar awards supporting the planned Buffalo Life Sciences Complex.
A current trend among donors—to know more about how and where their dollars will be spent—has been beneficial for the University at Buffalo and its current Generation to Generation campaign.

Nationwide, educational institutions, along with foundations and charities, are partnering to create new strategies to attract today’s astute and engaged donors. Here at UB, the high quality of research and far-reaching vision for the future among faculty and researchers are among the reliable incentives that have garnered enthusiastic endorsements.

  John M. Canty Jr., M.D. '70
One such program is directed by John M. Canty Jr., M.D. ’79, who holds the Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Chair in Cardiovascular Disease in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The Mae Stone Goode Trust has pledged $141,750 to support Canty’s research of sudden cardiac death syndrome, or SCD, which accounts for more than 60 percent of all cardiovascular deaths.

The John R. Oishei Foundation, another donor, has awarded $1.5 million to establish a new Center for Research in Cardiovascular Medicine at UB, a clearinghouse of scientists and other researchers working to better understand the mechanisms responsible for sudden cardiac death in ischemic heart disease.

The UB Center for Hearing and Deafness, under the codirection of Richard J. Salvi and Donald Henderson, also has received recent donor attention and has inspired support. A challenge grant from the McGowan Fund, made specifically for the creation of the Clinical Hearing Research Center, raised $242,000: $100,000 from the McGowan Fund itself; $100,000 from College of Arts and Sciences campaign leader Ashok Kaveeshwar, Ph.D. ’69; $29,000 from Walnut Technologies and $13,000 from the Bose Corporation. In addition, the John R. Oishei Foundation has awarded a $58,000 grant to the center.

The UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics continues to capture headlines. Since the December 2001 announcement of the initial $50 million in state funding and more than $150 million in private sector funding, the center has received additional funding from the state and federal governments, as well as from corporations and foundations.

Recent pledges include $3.5 million from the John R. Oishei Foundation and a total of $4.5 million from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the latter to be distributed equally in three grants of $1.5 million each to the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo—the three partners in the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex that will include the future home of the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics. Construction of the complex, to be built at Ellicott and Virginia Streets in Buffalo, will begin this summer and is slated for completion in December 2005.

The Oishei and Wendt Foundations’ pace-setting gifts help buoy current fund-raising efforts for the complex. UB and its partner institutes are actively engaged in seeking additional funds to fulfill critical fund-raising priorities, including the center’s need for support for faculty recruitment and research.

Shared philosophy leads to planned gifts for professorship, lecture series

  Edna Romanell
Edna Romanell has made two testamentary gifts with a combined value of nearly $1.5 million to the University at Buffalo.

With the two gifts – made through revocable trust expectancies – Mrs. Romanell has continued the legacy begun by her late husband, Patrick Romanell, a philosopher and author of several books on critical naturalism.

The first bequest of $600,000 will provide for continuing support of the Romanell Lecture on Medical Ethics and Philosophy, a series she and her husband established in 1997 with $50,000 in gifts.

Her second bequest of nearly $900,000 will establish the Edna and Patrick Romanell Professorship in the Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences.

  Patrick Romanell
A former medical social worker, Mrs. Romanell says that she and her husband shared the same thoughts on giving. “If we can afford it, let someone else benefit, too,” she says. “You only live so long, and our philosophy was always to let somebody else profit, as well.”

Peter Hare, former chairman of the philosophy department, and Tim Madigan, Ph.D. ’99 & M.A. ’98, then a philosophy graduate student, were friends of Romanell, whom Madigan calls “one of the first philosophers to work in medical ethics.”

In 1997, Hare invited Romanell to UB to give a lecture on medical ethics. Madigan, now editorial director at the University of Rochester Press, says Romanell later established a lecture series at UB because “he preferred lectureships as a way to get fresh, original ideas across.”

Patrick Romanell died of cancer in February 2002, but his generosity continues to benefit the university. Edna Romanell’s gifts are part of The Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation, which is closing in on its $250 million goal.

To learn how you can plan a gift to UB, contact Wendy Irving, director of gift planning, at (716) 645-3312 or irving@buffalo.edu. Or visit the Office of Development website at www.buffalo.edu/giving.

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