Campus News

Generosity brings campus to brink of campaign goal

Members of the UB community gather in Alumni Arena for the 2016 Campaign for the Community celebration. At the front of the group are, from left, Provost Charles Zukoski, campaign chair Robert Genco and emcee Paul Peck. Photo: David Riffel

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published January 26, 2017

“I have to say that this has been the highlight of my career at the University at Buffalo. The generosity and caring attitude of UB is what has driven me to strive hard and work for our team.”
Robert Genco, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and 2016 chair
Employees Campaign for the Community

We’re almost there! Thanks to the generosity of the UB community, the university raised more than $843,000, just shy of its goal for the 2016 Employees Campaign for the Community.

Dozens of people visited Alumni Arena yesterday for the annual campaign celebration, a wrap-up event that recognizes the people who help make UB’s campaign one of the most successful among U.S. universities.

This year, UB raised $843,285, 96 percent of its 2016 campaign goal of $875,000. UB also ranked in the top three in the nation among universities for donations raised per capita with $101 per person.

Campaign contributions will benefit 12,000 agencies that fall under the umbrella of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and many more that don’t.

“I attribute the success to you all,” Robert J. Genco, who chaired this year’s UB campaign, told those attending the event. “I have to say that this has been the highlight of my career at the University at Buffalo. The generosity and caring attitude of UB is what has driven me to strive hard and work for our team.”

But the campaign is not over yet, Genco noted. Faculty and staff who still wish to contribute can do so on the campaign website.

Several speakers at the celebration talked about the impact UB’s campaign has within the community, and the people it helps. Paul Peck, the voice of the UB Bulls, emceed the event.

“Reaching 96 percent of our goal is actually a tremendous feat for this campus,” said Provost Charles Zukoski. “It indicates to me the enormous support we have for our community. It’s one of the things that I felt when I arrived in Buffalo and I continue to feel it, that we as a campus are deeply committed to our geographic region, the city of Buffalo.”

Michael Weiner, president and CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, also spoke during the program, and congratulated members of the university community on leading charitable giving in the region.

Of the 980 organizations that the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County works with in Western New York, UB ranks third, donating $17.5 million over the last 12 years.

“We think this is another way that UB represents its culture of giving. And it’s more than giving dollars,” said Weiner, pointing to the many UB faculty, staff and students who participate in the United Way Day of Caring or other volunteer opportunities.

“The giving of our time and our spirit back to the community, this is something that is vitally important. And UB steps up to the plate every time.”

Several awards were given to members of the UB community who contributed immensely to the campaign.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development was this year's recipient of the Bennett Cup, considered the campaign's "MVP award." Pictured, from left: Michael Weiner, president and CEO, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County; Provost Charles Zukoski; Elizabeth (Betty) Smith, assistant vice president for administration and planning; Suzanne Chamberlain, senior director; Gretchen Bennett, clinical associate professor of communicative disorders and sciences and daughter-in-law of Robert Bennett; and Robert Genco, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and 2016 campaign chair. Photo: David Riffel

Eight units met or exceeded their financial goal: School of Architecture and Planning, School of Dental Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, School of Management, Office of the President, Division of Student Life, Emeritus Center and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

Faces of the Campaign, honored for sharing their stories to help promote the campaign’s impact: Laura Anderson, School of Nursing; Danielle Johnson, Cora P. Maloney College; Mary Kruszynski, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Ray Dannenhoffer, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Volunteer of the Year, for embodying the spirit of the campaign: Robert F. Burkard, School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Unsung Hero, for doing vital work behind the scenes: Suzanne B. Chamberlain, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

William R. Greiner Award, given to an individual who demonstrates the passion that the late UB president had for the campaign: Pamela M. Coniglio, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Progress Maker, awarded to a unit that made significant progress toward, but did not meet, its financial and participation goals: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Chair’s Cup, recognizing a unit whose performance shows an exemplary commitment to the campaign: Emeritus Center.

Bennett Cup, established in honor of former United Way of Buffalo and Erie County President and CEO Robert Bennett, awarded to a unit that is successful in increasing new dollars, donors or participants: Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The Bennett Award is considered the campaign's "MVP award."

Special thanks were given to Daniel Kelly, Office of the President; Rema Hanash, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County; and Denise Lewis, UB Microbiome Center, for their help with the campaign.