“We are a relatively young school that has achieved a remarkable degree of success in half a century,” says John G. Clarkson, M.D. ’68, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “We’re in our formative years—unencumbered by tradition, restless for progress, not content until we’ve moved from good to great.”
Since its founding in 1952, the school has become
a magnet for entrepreneurial people who are driven to innovate and
solve medical mysteries. UM scientists have made major contributions
to the worldwide effort to eradicate, ameliorate, and prevent disease.
The School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership to conquer some
of the most devastating medical problems. For instance, scientists
at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis made the groundbreaking discovery
of successful regeneration of adult human central nervous system tissue.
At the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, researchers have developed therapies
for macular degeneration and glaucoma that will help millions who suffer
from these diseases. Throughout the school and across all disciplines,
pioneering work is being done, which has brought both recognition and
“ This campaign is about people,” says President Donna E. Shalala. “It is an opportunity for those who care for the University of Miami to step up and help us accelerate progress, empower learning and discovery, and intensify our impact on people in our city, across the country, and around the world.”
During the campaign launch events in October, the University announced two new donor societies. Three distinguished organizations with longtime ties and a tradition of giving to the School of Medicine—the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, and The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis—were inducted into The Millennium Society, which honors those who have contributed a cumulative $50 million or more to the University. And 21 members were inducted into the newly formed Miami Society, which recognizes those who have committed a cumulative $10 million or more.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation recently donated $50 million to the Diabetes Research Institute at the School of Medicine. The money will support the DRI’s pioneering work in transplantation of insulin-producing islet cells, a groundbreaking treatment that is considered the most promising method for curing diabetes. Since its inception in 1971, the DRI Foundation has raised more than $100 million for the institute’s research programs.
On the night of the campaign launch, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis announced it was donating an additional $18.6 million to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the School of Medicine. The Buoniconti Fund serves as the national fundraising arm of the Miami Project and is designed to complement the scientific accomplishments of the Miami Project by generating funds and raising awareness.
Cancer research and treatment at UM/Sylvester also was bolstered by a new $11.5 million campaign gift from the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation. This latest donation brings the Sylvester family’s total giving to UM to $50 million. In the years since it opened, the cancer center has become a premier institution, paving the way to a multidisciplinary approach to both research and patient care.
The vision of our founders was to make the School of Medicine an international center of medical excellence,” says Clarkson. “We’ve made great strides, and now we’re ready to fulfill our potential. This campaign is a way to jumpstart the process by gathering around us more of the kind of dynamic people who will move us to the next level.”
|Photography by Chris Hamilton and Pyramid Photographics.|