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WesternU Capital Campaign Receives Boost from Major Donors

by Rodney Tanaka

September 3, 2009

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WesternU has raised more than $27 million in its Capital Campaign for Western Expansion, putting the campaign goal of $35 million by the University’s 35th anniversary in 2012 well within reach.

The six-year Capital Campaign, which has generated about 2,300 contributions, will equip and furnish the new Health Education Center and Patient Care Center, both scheduled to open in early 2010, and other campus expansion projects.

The 180,000-square-foot, four-story Health Education Center will serve as the new home of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, the College of Dental Medicine, the College of Optometry and the College of Podiatric Medicine. Small group learning rooms for the Interprofessional Education curriculum will bring together students from different disciplines with the goal of providing and promoting a team approach to patient care and health care management, leading to improved patient care.

The 80,000-square-foot, three-story Patient Care Center will house a pharmacy, optometry clinic, outpatient clinics in osteopathic and podiatric medicine, and an outpatient dental clinic. All clinical areas will be open to the public, will be staffed by WesternU faculty and staff, and will provide outpatient care and professional student learning rotations.

The construction and renovation project, the largest in WesternU’s history, also includes a 600-space parking garage.

The Capital Campaign has been buoyed by significant donations from families, foundations and corporations. Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria, of Orange, have pledged $5.1 million. A portion of that donation is funding the Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship in Interprofessional Education. The inaugural Pumerantz Lecture, to be held on Oct. 1, 2009, will feature John Kitzhaber, MD, the former governor of Oregon who authored the Oregon Health Plan in the 1990s and who founded The Archimedes Movement, which creates opportunities to channel effective actions for a new health care system.

The Harris Family Foundation has donated $3 million to support the work of the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions (CDIHP) at WesternU. CDIHP staff recently moved into its new headquarters, which will be named the Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy.

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, along with its parent company, Mars, Inc., were instrumental in the foundation and construction of the College of Veterinary Medicine, donating more than $7.6 million since the college opened in 2003.

The two-story, 31,200-square-foot Banfield Veterinary Clinical Center opened in summer 2008. The new building features a Banfield, The Pet Hospital of WesternU, a clinical skills laboratory named the “Thing Laboratory,” and an audio-visual learning room named for the late actress Gretchen Wyler.

Two of WesternU’s pioneers have pledged estate gifts. Philip Pumerantz, PhD, founding president of WesternU, pledged an estate gift of $1.25 million. WesternU Board of Trustees member Richard Bond, DO, DrPH, FAAFP, the first graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, and his wife Elizabeth, have pledged $750,000.

“WesternU has continued to grow because of the generous support of our donors through the years,” Pumerantz said. “Harriet and I want to show potential donors that WesternU’s leaders are also committed to our fundraising efforts to improve the campus and the community.”

Other notable donations include a West Hollywood residential property valued at $2.1 million from the estate of Dr. Lawrence Gosenfeld and Vincent J. Naimoli’s $250,000 gift to the Growth Fund for naming rights to the Banfield Veterinary Clinical Center Student Commons. WesternU honored the Naimoli family and dedicated the Naimoli Student Commons at a special ceremony on Aug. 27, 2009.



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