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Powerof Personal Philanthropy Fall 2012

Line one Line two V i r g i n i a

C o m m o n w e a l t h

U n i v e r s i t y


Powerof Personal Philanthropy Fall 2012

Inside this issue 3 Massey meets Cabell Challenge with $2.5 million 4 Engineering grants allow real-world experience 5 MCVAA awards its fifth legacy scholarship 6 Secretly, team creates education scholarship 7 Medical school gift makes its mark on the future 8 New scholarship honors pharmacy professor 9 Development team welcomes new members 10


Plans for library expansion hit the fast track

On the cover

Students get together for study sessions in Virginia Commonwealth University’s James Branch Cabell Library.

Editor: Melanie Irvin (B.S. ’96),, (804) 828-3975 Nan Johnson, | The Power II Writer: of Philanthropy





VCU Libraries’ 2 million-volume milestone, celebrated in 2009 by VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. (left), VCU archivist Jodi Koste and University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider, provided tangible evidence of the need for space to house the collection.

Plans for library expansion hit the fast track Alumni and friends who haven’t visited Virginia Commonwealth University since 1975 would find changes aplenty: new academic buildings, student housing, parking decks, athletic facilities and dining options — all designed to enhance and improve the experience of students and those who engage with one of the country’s leading research universities. Yes, visitors today would notice many changes, including a student population that’s nearly doubled in size. But one thing hasn’t changed on the Monroe Park Campus since 1975: the James Branch Cabell Library. “I took classes at VCU in the ’60s. I loved the atmosphere then and I love it now. The library is the center of everything. It’s the hub,” said James T. Moore III, president of the VCU Friends of the Library Board. “Today, we need more space to support the research of the university and more room for special collections. The staff has done such a miraculous job in making areas for students to get more out of the library. We’ve made strides in providing different types of study areas for students, but in order to continue to better serve our students and all who use the library and to become accredited as a research library, we simply need more space.” Moore is pleased that an updated facility, one that will keep pace with the needs of students and the university community, is closer to being realized. Plans for a new student academic commons and library expansion are on the fast track thanks to funding approved by the 2012 General Assembly in support of the project. The preliminary funding will cover the solicitation and selection of the architect/engineering firm responsible for turning VCU’s vision, as articulated by University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider, into reality. “Our goal is to create nothing less than first-in-class academic work space for our students in a building distinguished by the vibrancy and energy it reflects from the VCU community,” Ulmschneider said. VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., is also pleased with the expansion plans. “As we continue to make progress toward becoming the nation’s premier urban, public research university, it is essential that we have learning space commensurate with our ambitions,” Rao said. “That includes a 21st-century research library that meets the

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Massey meets Cabell Challenge with $2.5 million In November 2010, the Cabell Foundation made a challenge grant to VCU Massey Cancer Center, agreeing to a gift of $750,000 toward the cancer center’s floors in the School of Medicine’s new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center if Massey raised twice that amount in private funds by June 30, 2012. Nearly two months ahead of schedule, Massey met that challenge. To date, nearly $2.5 million in philanthropic funds has been Dr. Sheldon Retchin (H.S. ’79) (center), vice president for raised to support the portions VCU Health Sciences, gives donors Janet (B.S. ’58) and Lee of the 200,000-square-foot acaShowalter a tour of the under-construction McGlothlin demic medical education and Medical Education Center. cancer research facility designated for Massey. Floors 11 and 12 of the 12-story building — Massey’s Research Pavilion — will provide 29,000 square feet of dedicated space for researchers and will be the hub of research for hematology and oncology, clinical trials, radiation physics, and cancer prevention and control. Each floor will be appointed with a suite of research offices and conference rooms. In addition, the shared resource laboratory will house structural biology and research testing equipment that will support multiple research projects aimed at defining precise structures of large molecules and complexes that are critical in cancer cells. “The McGlothlin Medical Education Center will allow Massey’s faculty to foster robust, collaborative research endeavors that will no doubt result in exciting progress toward our mission,” said Dr. Gordon Ginder, director of the VCU Massey Cancer Center. “As always, we are incredibly fortunate to have a community of donors that understands the long-term payoff for investing in this resource.”


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needs of our student scholars and faculty researchers. We are grateful for the support of our governor and General Assembly and look forward to engaging our other partners to make this project a reality.” The initial phase of the process includes an architectural design for the new building, renovation plans to connect the new student academic commons to the existing library and construction drawings. The facility, which includes 82,000 square feet of new construction and 80,000 square feet of improvements to the existing building, will be designed to meet the needs of today’s students by offering 90 group-study spaces with seats for 484; advanced computers, large monitors and technology to provide work spaces for small classes and project collaborations; a 50-seat digital media studio; high-speed wireless network access; and computer displays and whiteboards. The estimated budget of $47.5 million from public sources, augmented by a private fundraising campaign, will provide 162,000 square feet of library space expected to be ready for use by September 2015. To learn more about VCU Libraries, contact Kimberly R. Separ (M.A. ’97), director of development and community relations, at (804) 827-1163 or 4 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy

Engineering grants allow real-world experience Like many seniors in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering, Dimitri Karles (B.S. ’12) and his teammates were faced with a dilemma when preparing their capstone project: how to pay for it. Senior design projects are a graduation requirement in the school. The program is designed to teach leadership skills, to foster collaboration and to provide a glimpse of product innovations that could one day benefit society at large. The student teams typically fund construction of their project prototypes themselves. Previous teams have designed everything from human-powered moon buggies and home security systems to drug-delivery devices and solar-powered water filtration systems. Things looked up for Karles and his teammates, Laura Deal (B.S. ’12) and Andrea Elkovich (B.S. ’12), when they learned about the new Mark A. Sternheimer Senior Design Award. Established in 2011 by long-time School of Engineering benefactor and Engineering Foundation Board member Mark Sternheimer, the Sternheimer Senior Design Award provides, through a competitive grant process, up to $10,000 annually for three years to support senior design project development and fabrication. Karles and his team applied for an inaugural grant and received full funding for their innovative The Mark A. Sternheimer Senior Design Award provides evaluative eye-tracking system. students like Dimitri Karles an opportunity to turn their In all, 31 teams applied and 14 capstone project ideas into reality. won awards. Award amounts varied and were based upon the teams’ budget requirements. Judging criteria included the completeness of the grant application as well as project creativity. “The student grant applications included submission of an abstract and a complete project budget,” said R. Scott Rash, CFRE, executive director and chief development officer for the School of Engineering Foundation. In addition to providing funding for the student projects, the grant process introduced VCU engineering students to the community by way of the judging team, which comprised corporate friends of the foundation. Each year, the projects are presented to high school and middle school students — and anyone who wants a peek — during the Senior Design Expo, held in April at the Science Museum of Virginia. “People from the engineering industry interviewed our students at the Senior Design Expo and were impressed by the project presentations,” said Afroditi V. Filippas, Ph.D., interim associate dean for undergraduate studies, associate professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and expo coordinator. “The type of philanthropy shown by Mark Sternheimer really ties VCU to the community and opens up a host of opportunities for our students.” The real-world experience of grant writing and detailed budgeting required by the Sternheimer Award program, Rash explained, helped students focus on what was needed to turn their planned projects into reality. “From scholarships to research on unmanned aerial vehicles, Mr. Sternheimer has invested in student-centered initiatives within the School of Engineering since

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MCVAA awards its fifth legacy scholarship As an avid “planet tank” aquarist with an interest in shrimp breeding, Sean Brodie’s experience as an undergraduate at Denison University studying the effects of alcohol exposure in zebrafish was a natural progression to his research work as a firstyear medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Brodie, the 2012 recipient of the MCV Alumni Association’s Legacy Scholarship, spent this past summer at VCU’s School of Medicine with Scott Ramsey, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and biophysics using zebrafish to study brain protein. “It’s great to follow in my father’s footsteps,” Brodie said. “It was a goal to get here. I like the atmosphere where students are willing to help each other out. Here, everyone graduates together — it’s not just about ‘you.’ The team atmosphere is important.” Dr. Harry Brodie (M.D. ’75) is thrilled to have his son at VCU. “It was a dream to have my son attend the school I went to. I care so much about the school’s tremendous tradition in medical education and patient care. It’s wonderful that he was awarded the Legacy Scholarship!” The Brodie tradition at VCU began when Dr. Edmund G. “Doc” Brodie (D.D.S. ’43) graduated from the MCV School of Dentistry in 1943. His sons, Dr. Edmund M. “Mac” Brodie (M.D. ’71) and Harry Brodie, continued the tradition at the VCU School Sean Brodie (left) follows in his father Harry’s footsteps, continuing a family tradition at the VCU School of Medicine. of Medicine and grandson Sean Brodie is in the school’s Class of 2015. Later in his career, Doc Brodie established a trust to benefit the School of Dentistry, and the Brodie Oral Cancer Research Laboratory was dedicated in his honor in 2010. “Education was important to my grandfather as it is to all of us Brodies,” Sean Brodie said. “Research and learning allow us to make advances in health care.” The $1,250 MCV Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship is presented annually to one first-year student who has been accepted into an academic program on the MCV Campus. Recipients must be direct relatives of dues-paying members of the association and are selected based on a personal essay, two letters of recommendation from nonfamily members and demonstrated leadership potential through studies and volunteer service. “In contrast to many private schools, VCU cannot consider legacy when admitting or interviewing potential students for admission,” said Paula B. Saxby, Ph.D. (M.S. ’85; Ph.D. ’92), president of the MCV Alumni Association. The Legacy Scholarship was established in 2008 by the MCV Alumni Association’s board of trustees as a thank you to alumni, such as the Brodies, who encourage their offspring to attend their alma mater. “Sean is an exceptional young man who will have much to offer in the field of neurology,” Saxby said. “It is always encouraging to meet and applaud the next generation of health care practitioners.” To learn more about the MCV Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, contact Gordon McDougall, associate vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the MCV Alumni Association of VCU, at (804) 828-8192 or 6 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy

Michael D. Davis, Ph.D., alongside wife Connie, accepts a check for a scholarship in his name that Michael C. Huffman, Ph.D., (right) helped create.

Secretly, team creates education scholarship Transparency is a good thing, but not when planning surprises. Michael D. Davis, Ph.D., former interim dean at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education, had no idea there was something afoot as he enjoyed the school’s pregraduation reception in May. While students, parents, faculty and friends celebrated the close of the academic year with Davis and his wife, Connie, members of the School of Education Alumni Council unveiled an oversized check in the amount of $25,000 representing the scholarship established in his honor and in recognition of his 30-plus-year career at VCU. Davis, now special assistant to the VCU provost, said it was remarkable that no one “spilled the beans” during fundraising efforts or at the event. “The presentation left me speechless, which is not me. I always have something to say, particularly when we are celebrating students,” he said. After the council provided $5,000 to jump-start the scholarship, President Michael C. Huffman, Ph.D. (M.S. ’02; Ph.D. ’12), and School of Education Executive Director of External Relations and Development Magnus Johnsson (Cert. ’10; M.P.A. ’10) spent 10 days calling friends and colleagues in hopes of adding to it. The scholarship quickly reached the $25,000 endowment level. “Increased scholarship funding is a great need at the School of Education,” Johnsson said. “For our students, scholarships such as the Michael D. Davis Scholarship in Urban Education can make the difference between going from two jobs to one, or making the decision to pay for child care or to go to school at all.” The hope, Johnsson said, is to make the first award in 2012. With a focus on urban education, the new scholarship supports students in the school’s departments of Teaching and Learning, and Special Education and Disability Policy who are studying to become teachers in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 urban classrooms. The scholarship will be awarded to those with demonstrated academic achievement, an interest in working with a racially and ethnically diverse student body and a commitment to teaching in an urban setting. Preference will be given to underserved candidates. Davis is humbled by the honor.

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Dr. John F. Butterworth IV, whose name will appear on the donor wall of the new McGlothlin Medical Education Center, watches and waits as the countdown to completion continues.

Medical school gift makes its mark on the future After more than 30 years away, Dr. John F. Butterworth IV (M.D. ’79) returned to his Richmond, Va., roots in 2011, just in time to be a part of history in the making through a gift to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine’s new state-of-the-art medical education center. Butterworth, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology in the School of Medicine, and his faculty colleagues patiently wait as the countdown to completion continues so that the next era in medical training at VCU can begin. Construction on the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center is transforming the site of the former A.D. Williams Clinic at the corner of 12th and Marshall streets into a $158.6 million, 200,000-square-foot, 12-story facility set to open this spring. Designed as a hub for active, team-based learning (required by the school’s new curriculum), the building’s space encourages small-group studies and includes expanded areas for cancer research, clinical-skills training and simulation labs for a growing student body and lifelong learners from the school’s alumni body. As a result of his gift, Butterworth’s name will appear on the donor wall in the lobby of the building, which is funded by the state of Virginia, VCU Health System and university funds, and private gifts. “What makes the new medical education building unique is that it offers so many locations for smaller group interaction, teaching and learning,” Butterworth said. “For students in the first two years, there typically isn’t much opportunity for interaction to synthesize information and to learn how to use that information. So many medical schools lack the appropriate architecture for those interactions and that’s what this building is all about — fostering interactions opposed to random rooms with chairs.” Dr. Jerome F. Strauss III, dean of the School of Medicine, is especially grateful when faculty colleagues, “who already do so much,” give to the campaign. “Their experiences and perspectives are already shaping the training that we will provide our students and trainees in our new medical education center,” he said. “I expect the generosity of Dr. Butterworth and other faculty to the medical school’s campaign will be an inspiration to their fellow faculty members and also to our alumni. And in that way, the impact of their gift reaches far beyond its financial assistance.” Butterworth’s family history runs deep at the VCU School of Medicine. His late father, Dr. John F. Butterworth III (M.D. ’52; H.S. ’57), completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at MCV in 1957 and his great-uncle, Jack H. Baskerville, served the MCV Foundation board of trustees in a variety of roles during the 1970s. “I’m glad to be in a position to help the school. If we want it to be a great university, and I want my school to be a part of that, then philanthropy is essential.” To learn more about the School of Medicine’s new medical education center, contact Tom Holland, associate dean for development, at (804) 828-4800 or 8 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy

Professor William Garnett (second from left) celebrates his retirement with wife, Mary Anne, granddaughter Susanna, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Chris Carr.

New scholarship honors pharmacy professor When Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy professor Dr. William Garnett (B.S. ’69) announced his retirement, he didn’t anticipate what his departure would inspire. But perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a complete shock: Garnett had devoted 36 years to the school. Arriving in the mid-1970s, Garnett was excited to be part of the School of Pharmacy’s transition from an undergraduate B.S. degree program to a professional Pharm.D. program. He was particularly well-loved by students who were undergoing the transition themselves, the “post-baccalaureate Pharm.D.s.” Garnett had earned his bachelor’s degree at VCU in 1969 and his Pharm.D. from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1973. Fast-forward to 2012, when three of Garnett’s former students heard of his impending retirement. Dr. Tony Coniglio (Pharm.D. ’86) and Dr. Gene Cefali (Pharm.D./Ph.D. ’87) suggested that the school host a post-baccalaureate Pharm.D. reunion on May 25, to be followed the next evening by a dinner during which Garnett would be surprised with a “roast and toast.” About 30 alumni and former faculty quickly rallied, traveling from as far away as California, Colorado, Florida and Illinois. From these events came the idea of a scholarship to honor Garnett’s legacy. Time was key, as his tenure was coming to an end and a retirement party already had been scheduled. Coniglio, Cefali and Dr. William Fitzsimmons (Pharm.D. ’85) promptly issued a challenge via email to the alumni who’d attended the reunion. “William definitely touched all of our professional lives in one way or another,” they wrote. Within days, enough money had been pledged to establish the William Garnett Scholarship Fund. “I think the energy for the reunion event and the speed and amount for the scholarship were driven by the affection, respect and admiration for William,” Coniglio said. “He was a unique professor — someone everyone knew cared deeply for you, wanted you to succeed and could be your professor and yet relate easily to you as a person.” On June 22, pharmacy faculty and former faculty, students, alumni and friends, as well as Garnett’s wife, Mary Anne (M.Ed. ’72), daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, gathered at the MCV Alumni House to celebrate his years of service. Dr. Don Brophy (M.S. ’04), chairman of the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, noted that a Medical College of Virginia chair was on its way to the

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Development team welcomes new members Payton Hardinge (B.A. ’11) Events specialist Massey Cancer Center (804) 827-9486 Formerly assistant to the director, VCU Service-learning

Laurel Hayward (M.A. ’01) Assistant director of stewardship (804) 628-1663 Formerly director of donor relations, University of Richmond

Kelly Kerr Events manager School of the Arts (804) 828-9182 Formerly manager, VCU Scott House

Sarah Kim Assistant director of development School of the Arts (804) 828-4692 Formerly executive director, Neighborhood Resource Center

Jay Lugar Director of development events and cause marketing Massey Cancer Center (804) 828-0883 Formerly marketing director, State Fair of Virginia

Amanda MacDonald Director of development and alumni relations School of Engineering (804) 828-2909 Formerly manager of major gifts, Richmond SPCA

Barbara Payton (B.S. ’83) Director of development for leadership annual giving (804) 827-1537 Formerly executive director, MCV Alumni Association

10 | The Power of Personal Philanthropy


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its inception. His commitment to funding senior design projects through this grant process over the next three years is a great example of how a donor can leverage philanthropy in support of student’s co-curricular opportunities. In this case the students, win or lose, got an opportunity to go through a competitive grant process while key corporate friends of the School of Engineering got an in-depth, first-hand look at the quality of students the school is educating.” Karles is grateful for Sternheimer’s support. “The grant award gave us the opportunity to do whatever we needed to make the process work. We didn’t have to cut any corners. It motivated us to work even harder because we didn’t want to let anyone down.” Just like in the real world. To learn more about the School of Engineering, contact R. Scott Rash, CFRE, chief development officer for the School of Engineering Foundation, at (804) 828-1475 or


continued from Page 7 ________________________________________ “Yes, [the scholarship] is a tribute to me, but it’s also a tribute to the mission of the university to support urban education,” he said. “Being housed in a major research university gives us a platform that others don’t have.” Throughout his career at VCU, Davis, who plans to retire next year, touched many lives — faculty and students. Among them is Leila Christenbury, Ed.D., professor of English education and chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, who has known Davis in all of his many roles from interim dean to department chair to professor. “He is a remarkable colleague and the best administrator I’ve ever worked under. When the scholarship idea was presented to the Alumni Council it came to me that there’s no better way to support it than to make your own contribution to start the ball rolling,” she said. The ball is still rolling for the Michael D. Davis Scholarship in Urban Education as contributions continue to be made. “Education is the future of this country,” Davis said. “It is our responsibility to educate youth. If people contribute to this scholarship, what they’re really doing is contributing to the future through VCU School of Education students.” To learn more about the School of Education, contact Magnus Johnsson (Cert. ’10; M.P.A. ’10), executive director of external relations and development, at (804) 827-1363 or


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Garnett house and presented the professor with a journal of farewell notes and congratulations from co-workers. Then Dean Victor Yanchick, Ph.D., announced that a scholarship had been established in his name, with pledges already surpassing $27,000. “I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Garnett said. Several colleagues shared their memories of working (and fishing) with Garnett. Alumna and former faculty member Dr. Carol Pugh (B.S. ’82; Pharm.D. ’84; M.S. ’04) presented an original tribute incorporating the letters of his first name (“W … is for willing; I … is for intelligent; L … is for literary …”). Referring to Garnett as a pioneer, Yanchick said, “He was involved in the transformation of pharmacy. …He was one of the most influential individuals in academia who really prepared the new breed of pharmacist. If it weren’t for people like William, we wouldn’t be where we are today in pharmacy education.” To learn more about the William Garnett Scholarship Fund, contact Ellen Leverich, School of Pharmacy director of development, at (804) 828-3016 or Fall 2012 | 11

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Power of Personal Philanthropy Newsletter - Fall 2012  

Power of Personal Philanthropy Newsletter - Fall 2012

Power of Personal Philanthropy Newsletter - Fall 2012  

Power of Personal Philanthropy Newsletter - Fall 2012