In football, halfway to goal is a critical moment in play. A game, a season, even a championship can hinge on whether a team can cover the remaining distance without losing possession of the ball. In fundraising, halfway to goal is a critical moment in a campaign. It represents a pivotal point in momentum — when we pause to express our appreciation for all who have given, and simultaneously intensify our efforts to cover the remaining distance.
For the UF College of Medicine, halfway to goal is indeed a point of celebration as well as a time for focusing collective energy on the coming months. The Florida Tomorrow: Campaign for Medicine has raised nearly $171 million in gifts, pledges and bequests, realizing 53 percent of the $315 million goal set for July 2012. Every donor to this campaign, regardless of the size of their contribution, has done something incredibly significant — they have supported academic medicine at a vital moment in the university’s history. And while this story highlights a variety of the gifts received by the College of Medicine, every gift is accepted with the heartfelt appreciation of current and future generations of students, researchers, clinicians and most of all, our patients.
There are philanthropists like Jerry and Judy Davis, whose leadership gift for cancer research is the largest ever received by the College of Medicine and strengthens the UF Shands Cancer Center. Or Wayne Huizenga, whose exceptional support for the department of urology has resulted in an endowed professorship and funding for other initiatives. A substantial gift from The Lillian S. Wells Foundation was matched by the state of Florida for the establishment of the Preston A. Wells Center for Brain Tumor Therapy, and the generosity of the Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foundation helped establish the UF Center for Psychiatry in Vero Beach. Over $10 million has been given to the campaign by anonymous donors, and medical alumni have risen to their own challenge (see page 44) by pledging to raise at least $2.5 million in support of new academic space for the College of Medicine. There have been dozens of gifts from foundations, charitable trusts and philanthropic divisions of corporations, and alongside these and many other major contributors are hundreds of individual donors, including our own faculty and staff. In fact, this campaign has included the most successful faculty and staff effort in the history of the College of Medicine, with more than 560 contributions raising more than $7.5 million. In short, the campaign’s success to date is due to the generosity of many people focused on a single goal — ensuring excellence in medicine at the UF.
The Campaign for Medicine is halfway to its goal today — but firmly focused on Florida Tomorrow — a belief that with private support, the possibility of preventing, treating and potentially curing diseases is limitless. Please consider how you can help the great tradition of medicine at UF with a gift, pledge or bequest. Thank you for investing in our future.