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The

Powerof Personal Philanthropy Summer 2011

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VCU V i r g i n i a

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U n i v e r s i t y


The

Powerof Personal Philanthropy Summer 2011

www.support.vcu.edu

Inside this issue 5 Alum sees life insurance as a way to give back 6 Daughter's VCU experience inspires gift, praise 7 Gifts help address need for eldercare workforce 8 Wrights establish professorship in cardiology 9 Massey Challenge raises more than $450,000 10 Gift establishes two endowed faculty positions 12 Agecroft Hall hosts annual MCV Society outing 13 Gerontology gala supports student scholarships 14 Business, dentistry, education hold golf outings 15

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On the cover

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School of Dentistry alumnus donates $500,000

Rendering of the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center

Editor: Melanie Irvin (B.S. ’96), msirvin@vcu.edu, (804) 828-3975 | TheNan IVWriter: PowerJohnson, of Personalnljohnson@vcu.edu Philanthropy

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VCU officials and Gov. Bob McDonnell announce the $25 million gift from James and Frances McGlothlin. Frances (from left) and James McGlothlin, McDonnell and Sheldon Retchin, CEO of the VCU Health System.

$25 million gift funds medical education center Frances and James McGlothlin always create a personalized Christmas card to send to their friends and family. One year, the card featured a picture of Jim, who was recovering from spinal surgery and wearing a back brace, with Fran handing him a drink. In the background was Dr. Harold F. Young, professor and founding chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, with a halo glowing above his head. The card symbolized Young’s role in the lives of the couple. In 1997, Jim went to see Young for terrible back pain. The couple turned to Young again when Fran needed attention. They were thrilled with Young’s care. The McGlothlins said that Young and his team have been “guardian angels” for them and countless other patients who have benefited from their skills, talents and dedication to the health care profession. To show their gratitude for Young’s work and dedication, the McGlothlins in April made a $25 million gift to the VCU School of Medicine. In recognition of the gift — one of the largest in the university’s history — and the McGlothlins’ longtime support of the School of Medicine, the school’s new medical education building, now under construction, will be named the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center. At the April announcement, Jim McGlothlin, CEO of The United Co., expressed the couple’s deep appreciation for Young. “When you have someone in the trenches like Harry, it’s easy to raise money. We love, adore and respect him for his skill and his great and charming friendship, which he doesn’t share with someone just because they might make a gift but extends to everyone in need of help,” McGothlin said. Calling the gift an investment in the future, McGlothlin also thanked those who helped make the gift a reality by working for his company. “This gift is made on behalf of the men and women who work in the coal mines who cannot on their own give this gift. We love and appreciate them,” he said. The new McGlothlin Medical Education Center, a 12-story, 200,000-square-foot building, will bring together faculty, medical students, residents and practicing physicians in a state-of-the-art training hub that is being designed to create a new standard in medical education. The interior has been planned to house the most significant renovation to the school’s curriculum in more than 30 years.

✫ see Gift, continued on Page 4 Summer 2011 | 3


Gift,

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“Your gift makes history today. And most importantly, it will change the future. It really will. It’s catalytic. … We are so thrilled that you were able to see the promise of this new facility and what it will mean for medical education in the future,” said Dean of the School of Medicine Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D. The $158.6 million building also will enable the school to address the national and statewide physician shortage by accommodating a larger class size, 250 from 200 — increasing the total medical student body to 1,000. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell noted how the McGlothlins’ generosity will help. “On behalf of all Virginians, I want to sincerely thank James and Frances McGlothlin for their incredibly gracious gift. This selfless act of generosity will help the School of Medicine to graduate more doctors in the years ahead, ultimately ensuring that more Americans will have access to the quality medical care they need and deserve,” McDonnell said. “The McGlothlins have given a gift that will resonate through the years as doctors leave the School of Medicine and practice in our communities. It is fitting that the gift was presented in recognition of Dr. Harold Young, who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others.” VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., emphasized that the McGlothlins’ gift will help provide access to quality health care for the neediest and most critically ill patients. “We have advanced health care for generations to come, all made possible because of two people who care about communities and what we are doing for our communities,” Rao said. This is not the couple’s first gift to VCU. In 2004, the McGlothlins, who reside in Bristol, Va., made a $2 million gift to establish the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Chair in Neurosurgery, currently held by Young. The new McGlothlin Medical Education Center was designed by I.M. Pei’s internationally acclaimed architectural firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Ballinger architects. The structure is being built to meet the United States Green Building Council’s criteria for LEED Silver certification. Completion is scheduled for spring 2013. To learn more about supporting the School of Medicine, contact Tom Holland, associate dean of development, at (804) 828-3800 or tehollan@vcu.edu.

James (left) and Frances McGlothlin, Dr. Jerome F. Strauss, Dr. Harold F. Young, and Dr. Sheldon and Tracy Retchin present a model of the School of Medicine's new education building. Now under construction, the building will be named the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center.

4 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


School of Dentistry alumnus donates $500,000 Reba Oley knows a thing or two about dentistry. She spent time working in her father’s Richmond, Va.,-based dental practice as a teenager. So as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, where she volunteered at a local free clinic, she knew right away that a little girl’s tooth could be saved instead of pulled. Because the clinic didn’t perform root canals, Reba Oley did the next best thing. She volunteered her father, Dr. George Oley III (D.D.S. ’79), to drive from Richmond to Christiansburg to do the job. A dutiful and charitable father, Oley did what he was asked. That experience brought back memories of his own undergraduate days at Virginia Tech as well as his days at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, where things were a lot different than they are now. “When I was in school, it was kind of like a fraternity initiation,” Oley said of dental school. “Teachers were stern, and the last thing I would have done was contribute to the school. But as you get older, you remember those times fondly. The fact that you experienced bad times makes you appreciate the good times. I guess it was a teacher’s job to be tough and demanding. “That’s changed now. Teachers have become communicators and they appeal to students. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of about the school today. It’s turned a corner and become a nurturing environment for a young dental mind.” Oley and his wife, Siham, made a $500,000 gift to the School Dr. George Oley III (left) enjoys the Final Four game in of Dentistry, which includes a Houston with Tom Burke (B.S. ’79, M.P.A.’95), executive director of the VCU Foundation. $100,000 scholarship in the name of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Oley Jr. In addition, a portion of the gift is designated to the James H. Revere Professorship for Faculty Excellence Fund. “I have a lot of respect for Dr. Revere,” Oley said. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t see him impeccably dressed. I saw him in Houston at the Final Four and there he was in jeans and a headband with a painted face. That was pretty cool.” The Revere Fund provides resources to meet the growing need for continuing education while honoring Revere, a faculty member who embodies the ideals of the school. Revere (D.D.S. ’65) is director of planned giving for the school and is immediate past president of the MCV Alumni Association. Oley is proud to honor both Revere and his parents through his gift to the school. “My father had always wanted me to become a doctor,” Oley said. “I didn’t want to be an M.D. because he had always been sick most of his adult life. He died when he was 47, and the last thing I wanted to tell somebody was that they had cancer. The worst thing I could tell them, as a dentist, was that their tooth had died.” Dentistry is shaping up to be a family affair with the Oleys. Siham Oley works in her husband’s practice and both children are pursuing dentistry. Reba Oley has completed her first year at the VCU School of Dentistry and son George is studying for his dental school admission test. The School of Dentistry is grateful for the support of its alumni, especially gifts that provide student support, said Dr. David C. Sarrett, dean of the School of Dentistry. “The Oleys’ generosity is significant,” Sarrett said. “Scholarships make a huge difference in helping dental students because there are a lot of expenses, such as licensure exams, that can’t be paid for with borrowed funds. Dental school is becoming more and more expensive every year as there is less and less state support.” To learn more about the School of Dentistry, contact Ed Kardos, director of development, at (804) 828-0324 or egkardos@vcu.edu. Summer 2011 | 5


Alum sees life insurance as a way to give back Of the many traditions in the Singer household, two are standouts: giving back to the community and attending Virginia Commonwealth University. As a University of Virginia alumnus, Cliff Singer stands alone among his mother, who attended VCU predecessor Richmond Professional Institute, his wife, his two daughters and his son-in-law. His wife, Michael Ann (B.S. ’02), has high hopes that another son, now a high school freshman, will follow the family lead. “When I attended VCU, I was in the process of a divorce and had a young child,” Michael Ann Singer said. “I struggled on a fixed budget to pay for my education. My parents helped me with child-care costs. At one point, I had to return to working full time and taking classes whenever I could. “Later, I was an older student in many of my classes, and I got such support and encouragement from my professors and even the dean. I was trying to finish my degree in biology as quickly as I could. I remarried, became very involved in volunteering in the community and worked. It wasn’t until I had three children that I finally finished my degree.” Singer’s will to succeed and receive an education despite early financial struggles is A planned gift continues the VCU tradition for a testament to her parents. the Singer family including (clockwise from “I feel so strongly about education because bottom right) Cliff, Michael Ann, Jacqueline, my mother and father did. My mother took Allison (B.A. ’10) and Jason Mead (B.A. ’09), Jacqueline's husband. three years to complete her associate degree at a community college at a time when she had five children,” she said. “My father was also very supportive of education even though he gave up a full scholarship at Purdue to serve in the Korean War. My parents really wanted better for their children and saw education as the pathway out, and it was. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have felt so strongly about it.” Singer also recognizes that today’s students face many obstacles to higher education. “Costs go up and the cost of living goes up. It’s so difficult,” she said. Singer is grateful for the education she received at VCU and had always thought about giving back to the institution that was so supportive of students like her. Years ago, she established a whole life insurance policy with the sole intention of giving back. “It’s very easy and affordable and an ideal way for young people to give a large gift to VCU. It was my intention to give a gift to make a difference,” she said. By naming the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences as the beneficiary of her whole life insurance policy, Singer has made a planned gift to the university that she loves and is now a member of the VCU Heritage Society, which honors donors who have designated planned gifts to any of the schools on the Monroe Park Campus. She has also made it possible for a single mother to pursue the dream of education through the Michael Ann and Cliff Singer Family Scholarship. “By establishing this scholarship and designating that it will be used to help single mothers attend college, I can make a meaningful difference,” Singer said. Tom Burke (B.S. ’79, M.P.A. ’95), executive director of the VCU Foundation, stresses that gifts come in many packages. “Michael Ann thought about her own experience as a student and planned a gift that will help others,” Burke said. “The Singer gift is an example for others who want to celebrate their personal experience while making a difference in the lives of future VCU students.” Singer hopes the family can make more gifts. “It’s a tradition for us to give and we’re hoping it’ll be a tradition for our children,” Singer said. “If I can encourage others to make the same type of gift, that would be all the better.” To learn more about planned giving in the College of Humanities and Sciences, contact Lois Badey, director of development, at (804) 827-0856 or labadey@vcu.edu. 6 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


Daughter’s VCU experience inspires gift, praise Things are winding down in the Northern Virginia household of Patricia and Samir Nader, where the family of six is transitioning from college life as their children launch careers as young adults. With the recent graduation of their youngest child and only daughter, Josie (B.M. ’11), from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts’ Department of Music, Patricia and Samir are adjusting to the idea of life on their own. With two children now in the field of music education, music will likely remain a large part of their lives. “As Josie’s older brother is an avid musician who sought after and attended some world-renowned schools of music, we became very exposed to that world and can’t help but contrast our daughter’s experience,” Patricia Nader said. “It’s amazing to us to see how superior the [VCU] experience has been compared to those institutions.” To show their appreciation to the VCU Department of Music for the quality of education and guidance Josie received, the Naders have made several generous contributions during their daughter’s VCU career through the Friends of Music. Founded in 2000 to provide support for scholarships and educational programs in the Department of Music, the Friends of Music is a major funding source for undergraduate scholarships. “Our music scholarship resources lag far behind those in other state and regional universities that have quality music programs,” said John Guthmiller, interim associate dean of student and program development at the School of the Arts and director of choral activities in the Department of Music. “This puts VCU at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting the best students. The Friends of Music helps provide scholarships that otherwise wouldn’t be available to promising students.” In addition to their most recent financial gift, the Naders also wrote a letter to Guthmiller and Darryl Harper, interim chair of the VCU School of the Arts’ Department of Music, in which they described their joy at Josie’s growth as a student, as a singer and as a music educator. “We can’t help but compare the approaches and quality experienced by others we know who have either auditioned for or attended other well-known programs that — as we have observed — tend to use their notoriety to attract students who have already been developed and then do little to augment the caliber of the musician. By contrast, the VCU music program thrives in spotting potential, engaging the student and nurturing artistry through a rich array of experiences that culminate in stunning transformations, producing inspiring educators and musical performances that rival the professional stage,” the letter read. Guthmiller and his colleagues in the Department of Music were humIn appreciation of the education their daughter received bled by the letter and grateful for the at VCU, Patricia and Samir Nader support scholarships and educational programs in the music department. couple’s financial support. “It’s important to note that when the Naders were coming to choral concerts and hearing their daughter perform and were moved by the experience that they felt compelled to contribute to the program so that other students could benefit,” Guthmiller said. “Seeing Josie graduate and what she’s accomplished and the way in which she and her family have grown with us through her education … this is why I do this. It is gratifying beyond any description.” The Naders’ only regret, they said, is that Josie’s program of studies, which was “so well-paced and successfully presented,” has come to a close. She graduated in May and plans to stay in Virginia and enter the field of music education. To learn more about the Department of Music, contact Hannah Neilson, associate director of development, at (804) 828-9182 or hbneilson@vcu.edu. Summer 2011 | 7


Gifts help address need for eldercare workforce As today’s aging population continues to increase, so does the need for agecentered care, access to livable communities and other services. The growth rate for Virginians age 85 and older, for example, is five times faster than that of the state’s total population. “While still vibrant contributors to our communities, individuals in our 85-plus population are likely to experience multiple chronic conditions and find themselves in need of allied health-related services,” said E. Ayn Welleford, Ph.D. (M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’98), chair of the School of Allied Health Professions’ Department of Gerontology. Through the Department of Gerontology and the School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University is a key player in the state’s efforts to meet the need for compassionate, knowledgeable and well-trained eldercare professionals. That’s one of the reasons Patty and William Wilkerson created two scholarships to support students with a passion for gerontology. As their mothers aged, the Wilkersons were faced with caregiving challenges and little knowledge of where to turn for help. Rachel Wilkerson, who graduated from the School of Social Work in 1939, developed Alzheimer’s, and Mary Walters had Parkinson’s disease and other age-related health complications. “People don’t think about aging until it affects them directly,” Welleford William and Patty Wilkerson are helping fill Virginia's need for more eldercare professionals through two student scholarships. said. “Longevity brings many opportunities, but the challenges of age-related diseases and caregiving often are first experienced in crisis. Gerontologists and aging services specialists can help meet these challenges through planning, care management and effective advocacy.” The Walters-Wilkerson Memorial Gerontology Scholarship in the VCU School of Allied Health Professions honors the memories of their mothers and provides financial support to students who plan to serve the aging community. The Rachel Wilkerson Memorial Scholarship in Social Work supports students seeking both a Master of Social Work and a Certificate in Aging Studies from the Department of Gerontology. Patty Wilkerson (B.S. ’77) remembers social workers helping to navigate a challenging eldercare system while caring for her and her husband’s loved ones. “From administrators to nurses, all of these people had some training in gerontology and all of these people were completely wonderful. They have a kindness and a patience that my husband and I needed to honor,” Wilkerson said. As past president of the VCU Foundation, Wilkerson also wanted to give back to her alma mater and its programs that are designed to pave the way for healthy aging. “The Wilkersons’ generous gifts signal the importance of choosing aging as a field of practice. Their support and leadership encourages students to really focus their education upon working with older adults and their families,” said School of Social Work Dean James E. Hinterlong. “Current estimates show that we’re going to need 100,000 social workers with experience in the field of aging in the next five or six years.”

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Wrights establish professorship in cardiology Over the years, Dianne and C. Kenneth Wright have made numerous investments in Virginia Commonwealth University. One of the areas near and dear to their hearts is the VCU Pauley Heart Center. At the center’s annual Cardiology Consortium in May, the 80 guests gathered at the Commonwealth Club were thrilled to hear of the Wrights’ latest gift: a $250,000 pledge to establish the C. Kenneth Wright Professorship in Cardiology. “All of us at the VCU Pauley Heart Center are grateful to Ken and Dianne for their ongoing support and their friendship,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, chairman of the Division of Cardiology and holder of the Hermes A. Kontos, MD Professorship in Cardiology. “Their generosity is truly an inspiration. The C. Kenneth Wright Professorship in Cardiology will help us to recruit an outstanding scholar to our faculty.” Following the event’s dinner, Dr. George W. Vetrovec, professor of medicine and director of the Adult Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, spoke about several friends and supporters of the Pauley Heart Center who passed away in recent months and asked for a moment of silence in their memory. He gave a special tribute to Dr. Howard McCue (M.D. ’41), who died in December at the age of 93. Vetrovec also welcomed guest speaker Dr. Bruce S. Stambler, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University. From 1991-95, Stambler served on the VCU School of Medicine faculty. Stambler spoke fondly about the time he spent in Richmond, Va., training under Ellenbogen. He mentioned that his oldest daughter was born at the VCU Medical Center and just completed her first year of college. Stambler also noted the dramatic changes on the MCV Campus. He wrapped up by discussing his current research interests and activities, specifically talking about atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart beat. At the conclusion of the evening, Ellenbogen recognized Dorothy and Stan Pauley for their extraordinary support and presented them with special gifts — a VCU Pauley Heart Center scarf and a VCU Pauley Heart Center tie — both designed and produced by Vineyard Vines. All of the guests at the event received scarves and ties. To learn more about making a gift to the VCU Pauley Heart Center, contact Brian S. Thomas, senior executive director of development for the MCV Foundation, at (804) 828-0067 or bsthomas@vcu.edu.

Dr. Kenneth A. Ellenbogen (left), C. Kenneth Wright, Dr. George W. Vetrovec and Dianne Harris Wright celebrate at the VCU Pauley Heart Center’s 2011 Cardiology Consortium.

Summer 2011 | 9


Massey Challenge raises more than $450,000 For the sixth year, the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center was the official charity of the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k, presented by Martin’s. The 2011 Massey Challenge, sponsored by Anthem, engaged 1,700 10k participants in using their run or walk to raise funds for cancer research at Massey. Together, these participants raised more than $450,000. Out of 170 teams, the top fundraising efforts were: • St. ChristoCures, a team of students from St. Christopher’s School, with $32,669 raised • 10k for RK, with $26,856 raised in honor of Ranjit Sen • Bowling for Burns, with $25,416 raised in honor of Burns Ackerly The top individual fundraisers were: • Harrison McVey, who raised $10,750 for Team St. ChristoCures • Margaret Valentine, who raised $10,075 on behalf of 10k for RK

The 2012 Monument Avenue 10k is scheduled for Saturday, March 31. To learn more, visit www.run4massey.org.

Eldercare,

Fran Householder

• Mark Gottwald, who raised $6,760 for St. ChristoCures

Burns Ackerly’s family formed the Bowling for Burns team in honor of her fight against cancer.

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The Rachel Wilkerson Memorial Scholarship in Social Work is an example of a long-standing collaborative effort between the School of Social Work and the School of Allied Health Professions’ Department of Gerontology. The joint certification program allows students to work in their chosen discipline as well as to serve older adults. “We are grateful for Patty and William’s generous support of our Department of Gerontology,” said Cecil B. Drain, Ph.D., dean of the School of Allied Health Professions. “Thanks to their leadership, the department will continue to grow its efforts to transcend academic disciplines within the university and community. Their gifts enable future degree-seeking students of gerontology an even greater ability to focus on elder care and aging issues.” Welleford agrees. “For the Wilkersons to make a contribution in this way is really meaningful,” she said. “They know from experience how important it is to prepare our workforce to help older people age optimally.” To learn more about the School of Allied Health Professions’ Department of Gerontology, contact Jessica Feinberg-Gurganus, assistant dean for development and external affairs, at (804) 828-3269 or jfgurganus@vcu.edu. To learn more about the School of Social Work, contact Myra Isaacs, director of development and alumni relations, at (804) 828-7166 or isaacsmh@vcu.edu. 10 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


Development team welcomes incoming staff Sarah S. Gravely Executive coordinator Massey Cancer Center (804) 827-2232 gravelyss@vcu.edu Formerly campaign associate, United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg

Rachel Leyco (B.A. '05) Events specialist Massey Cancer Center (804) 827-9486 leycorc@vcu.edu Formerly special events coordinator, Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks

Jane W. Stringer Director of Gifts and Records Management (804) 828-0348 jwstringer@vcu.edu Formerly director of Gift Accounting at Virginia Tech

Prize encourages new writers, honors Tarumoto When Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto (B.S. ’67) died in October 2007, her husband, David, wanted a way to honor her memory. Rebecca Tarumoto earned her undergraduate degree in retailing from Richmond Professional Institute and then pursued her love of writing by completing her master’s in English at the University of Michigan. Her fiction was published in a number of literary journals and her work won several competitions. After her death, David Tarumoto turned to the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Through an endowment, he established The Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize, which is designed to honor his wife’s devotion to the art of writing fiction, to expand the audience for outstanding short stories and to serve as encouragement for literary excellence among writers early in their careers. The annual prize will be awarded to the author of the best work of short fiction submitted to Blackbird, an online journal of literature and the arts, with an emphasis on work by an emerging writer. Blackbird is a joint venture of the VCU Department of English and New Virginia Review Inc. The winner will receive $2,000 and will have his or her work published in Blackbird. Blackbird will select the inaugural prize-winning story from short fiction published in the journal in 2011 and will announce the winner in the fall 2011 issue. An award ceremony, featuring a reading by the prize winner, will be held in March 2012 on the VCU campus. Gifts in support of the inaugural celebration event and outreach activities can be made at http://givenow.vcu.edu/RMTarumoto. For more information about the College of Humanities and Sciences, contact Lois Badey, director of development, at (804) 827-0856 or labadey@vcu.edu. Summer 2011 | 11


Gift establishes two endowed faculty positions In May, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions installed two professors in newly endowed faculty positions. D. Mark Cooper, D.Min. (Cert. ’75), was invested as the Robert B. Lantz Chair in Patient Counseling, and Alexander F. Tartaglia, D.Min., was invested as the Katherine I. Lantz Professor in Patient Counseling. The Rev. Lantz received his certificate in patient counseling in 1964 from the Medical College of Virginia, marking the beginning of a long and cherished relationship with the university. In recognition of the education he received, he bequeathed nearly $1 million to the Department of Patient Counseling in the VCU School of Allied Health Professions. The gift — the school’s largest from a single individual — combined with a previous gift from the Rev. Lantz, established the Robert B. Lantz Chair in Patient Counseling. A subsequent Lantz family gift of more than $340,000 established the Katherine I. Lantz Professorship. The Rev. Lantz passed away in 2008. “Over the years, Bob Lantz and I often talked about the future of the Department of Patient Counseling. He was a very proud alumnus, serving as the chair of the Department of Patient Counseling advisory committee, and wanted the best for the department and for our school,” said Cecil B. Drain, Ph.D., dean of VCU’s School of Allied Health Professions. “These two D. Mark Cooper, D.Min., (left) and Alexander F. Tartaglia, D.Min., receive congratulations from donor Katherine I. Lantz. positions allow us to strengthen the department and keep it where it will always be viable financially. Over many years, Bob served as a mentor and friend to both Mark Cooper and Lex Tartaglia, holding both of them in the highest of esteem. He was very special to me as he was a wonderful friend and confidant for me throughout my career at VCU.”

VCU recognizes longtime supporter Ken Wright Standing in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering, which he helped formulate and build, C. Kenneth Wright beamed as President Michael Rao, Ph.D., draped a black and gold hood over his head. Wright, who along with his wife, Dianne, has provided leadership and financial support to VCU for many years, expressed his gratitude at receiving an honorary doctorate from the university. “There is nothing more meaningful to us right now than our affiliation with VCU,” Wright said. “I’ve earned many awards and achievements in business over the years, but nothing on the level that I am receiving today. I promise to endeavor for the rest of my life to serve this community and give credit to this award.” Earlier during the June ceremony, the accolades flowed as Rao, VCU then-Rector Panny Rhodes and School of Engineering Foundation President Art Hurtado honored Wright’s service, commitment and philanthropy. “I have seldom in my life seen someone who takes more pleasure out of seeing an institution and the people within it advance — who derives satisfaction in life out of the success of other people,” Rao said. 12 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


Agecroft Hall hosts annual MCV Society outing The MCV Society, the planned giving society created by the Medical College of Virginia Foundation and supporting Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus, enjoyed its fifth annual spring outing in April. This year’s event took place at Agecroft Hall. MCV Foundation President Bill Kotti, Ph.D., reported that the MCV Society welcomed a record 52 new members. He also recognized MCV Foundation trustees, lifetime honorary trustees and VCU leaders in attendance as well as the MCV Society member who had traveled the farthest to attend, Dr. Joseph B. Kohen Jr. (M.D. ’55), who lives in California. James River Cellars Winery also provided a tasting of several of their most popular selections, including Rad Red, a variety from which a portion of proceeds John Blohm (second from left), vice president for development and from every bottle is always alumni relations, thanks MCV Society members and guests Inger donated to the VCU Massey V. Rice, Marilyn M. Harman, Dr. Robert F. Harman (D.D.S. ’60) and Richard Trowbridge for their support. Cancer Center.

Pollak Society members enjoy season of events Members the Pollak Society, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts’ leadership donor group, are committed to the arts at VCU, in Richmond and beyond. Members provide critical unrestricted support to the school. This gives the dean funds to pursue a variety of initiatives, such as student scholarships, visiting artist lectures, study abroad and other priorities. In this year alone, the leadership society funded 32 scholarships for students and emerging artists through their generous gifts. Members make unrestricted annual gifts of at least $1,000 to the school. In addition to providing critical unrestricted support to the nation’s top-ranked public university school of arts and design, members are invited to a variety of behindthe-scenes events. This year’s events included: • A visit to the Department of Craft and Material Studies for live glasswork and ceramics demonstrations featuring students from the department • A showing of a private collection of Harlem Renaissance art at the home of Pollak Society members Meg and John Gottwald • A private gallery talk given by Anderson Gallery curator Ashley Kistler (M.A. ’85) and internationally renowned sound artist and VCU professor Stephen Vitiello at the home of Freddie and Lawrence Gray • An evening of live music featuring students of the jazz studies program, poolside at the home of Allison Weinstein and Ivan Jecklin • A private conversation and luncheon with VCU Qatar Dean Allyson Vanstone • Runway seating at the sold-out annual Spring Fashion Show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts • A meet and greet with Institute for Contemporary Art architect Steven Holl over cocktails at Can-Can For more information about the Pollak Society, contact Hannah Neilson, assistant director of development for the School of the Arts, at (804) 828-9182 or hbneilson@vcu.edu. Summer 2011 | 13


MCV Foundation dinner salutes volunteer leaders

Chris Ijams, CSI Studio

At the May 9 MCV Foundation Board of Trustees Annual Dinner, emcee and MCV Foundation Board Chair Dr. John C. Doswell II (D.D.S. ’79) embraced a “team” theme. He welcomed new trustees as “rookies of the year,” honored outstanding volunteer leaders and shared a “highlight reel” of events that took place on the MCV Campus and throughout the university during the past year. Recipients of this year’s Dr. Eugene P. Trani Award for MCV Campus Leadership were Katherine C. Bobbitt, Ed.D. (B.S. ’56), and Bertha Rolfe (B.S. ’47), who both served for many years as co-chairs of the foundation’s Board Resources Committee. The recipients of the Michael B. Dowdy Philanthropy Award were Charlotte and Jim Roberts, who were recognized for their joint and independent fundraising efforts on behalf of the MCV Campus. The Robert W. Irby, M.D. Award for Philanthropic Leadership went to Dr. Peter W. Brown, for his service and philanthropic dedication to both the School of Medicine 2011 recipients of the Michael B. Dowdy Philanthropy Award, and the Massey Cancer Center. Charlotte and Jim Roberts (center), are congratulated by Dr. John C. Doswell II and his wife, Mary. Dr. Sheldon Retchin, vice president for VCU Health Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System, gave an update about developments of the past year on the MCV Campus. Athletic Director Norwood Teague shared a video highlighting the VCU men’s basketball team’s trip to the Final Four. Doswell, who is also a member of the Board of Visitors, was honored as an enthusiastic leader and was presented with a “coach” sweatshirt and whistle by the board’s five vice chairs: Judy Collins (Cert. ’75), Alice Goodwin (B.S. ’66), Gail W. Johnson (B.S. ’67, M.S. ’76), Jim Roberts and Dr. Jane Wootton (M.D. ’65, H.S. ’89).

Gerontology gala supports student scholarships The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology’s 35th Anniversary Gala, held April 9 at the Virginia Historical Society with the theme “Creativity and Aging,” brought together more than 150 guests to enjoy a silent auction and remarks by keynote speaker and Board of Visitors member Dr. Baxter Perkinson (D.D.S. ’70), Dean Cecil Drain, Ph.D., and department Chair E. Ayn Welleford, Ph.D. (M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’98). Perkinson also gave a live art demonstration. Between the proceeds from the silent auction and the sponsorship of numerous aging services organizations throughout central Virginia, the event raised more than $10,000 for the Department of Gerontology’s student scholarships. Generous sponsors included the VCU School of Allied Health Professions; the MCV Alumni Association; Morningside Bellgrade and West End; Mariners Landing Resort Community; Comfort Keepers; Lift Caregiving; a Grace PLACE; Senior Connections; James J. Cotter, Ph.D.; Welleford; Constance Coogle, Ph.D. (B.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’85); Virginia Association of Home Care and Hospice; the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Richmond Chapter; Couples and Kids Counseling Center; the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health; School of Social Work Dean James Hinterlong, Ph.D.; Pamela DeYoung, M.S.G.; Leigh Burke (B.S. ’96, M.S. ’98) and Billy Burke; Patricia Slattum, Ph.D. (B.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’92, Cert. ’92); Marcia Tetterton (M.S. ’00); Tarynn Whitten, Ph.D.; and Janet Hutchinson, Ph.D. 14 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


Business, dentistry, education hold golf outings This April, golf tournaments kept alumni and friends busy and raising money as part of Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Month. About 120 alumni and friends played in the second annual VCU Business Alumni Society Golf Open at Independence Golf Club. Massey Energy was the title sponsor. The players were greeted by 25 School of Business students who were stationed throughout the course to hand out gifts, such as polo shirts and golf towels, and several student-athletes from the VCU golf team helped out with some shots. The winning team received gold jackets. More than $7,000 was raised to support the VCU Business Alumni Society’s programs in the area of student and alumni engagement. The sixth annual VCU School of Dentistry Alumni/Student Golf Invitational kicked off the 2011 Reunion Weekend on April 15. At the tournament, 128 alumni, students, family and friends vied for the Dr. Francis J. Filipowicz Memorial Trophy at The Crossings Golf Club in Glen Allen. The event is organized and planned by dental students in the D1, D2 and D3 classes with the help of dental hygiene students in the DH3 and DH4 classes. Senior students are invited to play for free. Henry Schein Dental was the $25,000 title sponsor. The outing raised $50,000, Patricia Stauffer (left) and Deborah Getty enjoy the School of Education tournament. which was presented to Dr. Terry Dickinson, executive director of the Virginia Dental Association. The VDA used the money to purchase a truck to store and haul dental equipment and supplies used for the association’s Missions of Mercy projects. Students volunteer regularly at MOM projects around the state. Additionally, more than 20 teams of golfers and numerous volunteers attended the School of Education’s fifth annual golf tournament. Perfect weather graced the daylong event, which was held at The Crossings Golf Club. The annual tournament is organized by members of the School of Education’s Alumni Council. The tournament raised $7,800 from sponsors, players and friends to support several scholarships for VCU School of Education students.

Ruth Compton

Dentistry Dean David Sarrett (left), D3 Golf Committee leaders Bobby LeNoir and Molly Adler and VDA Executive Director Dr. Terry Dickinson gather in front of the truck purchased for the MOM projects.

Summer 2011 | 15


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Power of Personal Philanthropy - Summer 2011