Western University of Health Sciences celebrated its 35th anniversary and the successful conclusion of its Capital Campaign at its annual “A Tribute to Caring” gala at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. Nov. 10, 2012.
ATC raised about $125,000 for student scholarships. Half of the proceeds will go directly to scholarships this year and half will be placed into an endowment, which now exceeds $900,000.
The theme of ATC, “Look How Far You’ve Brought Us,” acknowledges the staff, faculty, supporters and students who made WesternU what it is today. WesternU started in 1977 as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and has grown into a comprehensive health professions university that combines scientific excellence and a humanistic, compassionate approach to patient care.
“We’re pleased that so many of you have been with us from the beginning of this journey, and our circle of friends continues to grow and thrive,” said WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “I also thank each and every one of you for your generosity tonight. Your contribution to A Tribute to Caring ensures that new generations of healers will have the resources to fulfill their dreams, the same dreams we had when COMP was created in 1977.”
WesternU gave special recognition to A Tribute to Caring Silver Sponsors: Wells Fargo Bank, AmerisourceBergen/GNP and Fairplex/Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center/The Learning Centers at Fairplex.
ATC celebrated the successful conclusion of WesternU’s Capital Campaign, which had a goal of raising $35 million by the University’s 35th anniversary on Sept. 4, 2012. When a university undertakes a capital campaign, there are a number of elements that go a long way in determining whether or not it will be successful, said WesternU Senior Vice President Thomas G. Fox, PhD. One requirement is dedicated donors, and WesternU’s campaign attracted more than 2,500 donors, he said.
“When a campaign for $35 million exceeds that total dramatically, and finishes in excess of $54 million, credit needs to be shared in a number of areas,” Dr. Fox said. “Obviously the deans and university leadership have to be on board. The university has to provide resources to develop a team of outstanding fundraisers, and certainly we were blessed with these commitments. However, the one indispensible element in any campaign is the campaign leadership. We were very fortunate to have an exceptional core group for the campaign steering committee.”
The Capital Campaign Steering Committee was chaired by COMP’s first graduate Richard Bond, DO, DrPH, FAAFP, who serves as the vice chairman of the WesternU Board of Trustees. The steering committee also included board members Mike Quick and Vincent J. Naimoli, MBA, and Lenda Naimoli.
Donors who contributed $1 million or more to the campaign were given special recognition: Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria; Masterfoods USA Inc.; Don A. Anderson, DO; Banfield Pet Hospital; the Harold W. Harris Foundation; Lawrence F. Gosenfeld, DO; FamilyCare Health Plans Inc.; Dr. and Mrs. Philip Pumerantz; and Dr. and Mrs. Richard Bond.
“Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria are a remarkable philanthropic couple whose commitment to education has been evidenced throughout their lives,” said Michel Baudry, PhD, dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences.
Masterfoods USA and Banfield Pet Hospital each gave more than $1 million to the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Without their contributions we would not have been able to recruit the extraordinary faculty and staff that we have to develop the innovative curriculum in veterinary medicine,” said College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD. “In a word, we are appreciative.”
Beth Pumerantz, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Pumerantz, spoke on the family’s behalf.
“Our family believes very deeply not only in educating people to help ensure a future of high quality health care, but also in the idea that the world can be a better place if all of us remember one key idea: We must be there for one another,” she said. “It is a notion that extends far beyond health sciences and education and represents what we truly believe to be a design for living. The world’s problems might not go away if we all care for one another a bit more, but they will be a lot less formidable.
“Our future commitment to WesternU, the same commitment we have made these last 35 years, is an investment in tomorrow’s healers to be sure, but what it really is, is a vote of confidence in people and in what we believe is their boundless capacity to care for and about one another.”
Gifts between $500,000 and $1 million were also acknowledged from AmerisourceBergen/GNP; The Fletcher Jones Foundation; Jonathan Y.H. Wu, MD, PhD; and The San Diego Foundation.
“With the help of industry partners like A-dec and Sirona, as well as many other generous donors, the College of Dental Medicine was able to launch a cutting-edge dental program and clinical care program,” said College of Dental Medicine Dean Steven W. Friedrichsen, DDS. “Our students, faculty, staff, the patients they currently serve and the patients they will serve throughout their career thank these generous donors.”
Several WesternU students attended ATC and learned about the generosity of WesternU’s supporters. College of Pharmacy student Drupad Parikh, PharmD ’13, a GNP scholarship recipient, said scholarships are important.
“It makes a big difference,” he said. “It’s not just the money. You’re supporting our dreams of having an education and serving the community.”