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May 2010 Issue

Leading the Proudly Pennies campaign for the College of Medicine are students Jonathan Hassel (left) and Michael Donaworth (right)
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Medicine Rolls Out Proudly Pennies Campaign

By Jill Hafner
Published May 2010

"Transformation” was the theme as students, staff and faculty—many decked out in red and black attire—gathered in the CARE/ Crawley Building atrium on April 19 to celebrate the official rollout of the College of Medicine’s Proudly Pennies campaign.

Running in conjunction with Proudly Cincinnati, the university’s $1 billion capital fundraising campaign, Proudly Pennies is a student-led initiative that seeks to collect 1 billion pennies, the equivalent of $10 million.

The noon event featured a lunch and talks by UC President Gregory Williams, PhD, College of Medicine Dean David Stern, MD, and several alumni and students, all of whom stressed the importance of private support in transforming lives.

In his address, Stern gave visual cues of how donors have impacted the College of Medicine: "Look around ... this lovely building is due in major part from the generosity of Edith J. Crawley.

Around the corner, we enjoy a first-class health science library thanks to the generous support of former Senior Vice President and Provost Donald Harrison.

"Generous gifts from individuals and institutions allow us to recruit the best and brightest faculty and conduct teaching and research in state-of-the-art facilities,” Stern said.

Although the mood was lively, an emotional chord was struck as attendees watched a video, which largely featured student scholarship recipients sharing their personal stories of how private support has changed their lives.

"I was a Gaston scholar, which is one of the scholarships they offer through the College of Medicine,” said Callisia Clarke, MD, a 2006 College of Medicine graduate, in the video.

"I think I kind of went from having these rose-colored glasses of what being a surgeon was really going to be like, and then really knowing all the work and dedication it really took.

"(A scholarship) to me,” she said, "is a gift that keeps on giving. For every person that gets the opportunity to get an education, there are hundreds of people who they are going to impact.”

Presenters were also moved: "I cannot watch that video without getting a lump in my throat,” said Williams.

"The stories we just heard are a sampling of the thousands of students, patients and alumni who have had their lives transformed by private support at the University of Cincinnati.”

Before the event wrapped up, College of Medicine alumni Bill Knight, MD, and Jen Ernst, MD, explained how financial support can either "make or break” a student’s chance of becoming a doctor.

They said this was one of the reasons why their graduating class of 2003 created the IvaDean Medical Student Scholarship Fund.

"We wanted to do something different—something that would benefit future classes,” said Ernst.

"Since the fund started, we have raised $1.3 million and financially supported over 46 students.”

It was also noted that medical students typically graduate with an excess of $150,000 in student loan debt.

Student-led fundraising initiatives, such Proudly Pennies and the IvaDean Fund, have been regarded as successful ways to get students invested in their own future and the university.

"This is not the foundation’s campaign—this is the university’s campaign,” reminded Williams.

"And it’s up to each of us to make Proudly Cincinnati part of the university’s DNA—and to share the university’s story of transformation, which each of us help write every day.

"While some of the major gifts have been highlighted today, keep in mind that all gifts truly make a difference,” he said.

Proudly Pennies cans—used to house donated loose change—are continually popping up throughout the UC Academic Health Center, providing a visual reminder that even the smallest donations can add up to big investments for the university and its students.

Haven’t seen any Proudly Pennies cans? Check out the following locations.

You can also donate at
Proudly Pennies Locations
Allied Health Sciences—French East Building
 Dean’s office
 Computer lab
 Department administrative offices

Nursing—Procter Hall
 First floor (computer lab help desk)
 Second floor (faculty/staff mail and break rooms, guard booth)
 Third floor (student affairs reception desk)

Pharmacy—Wherry Hall
 Dean’s suite

Medicine—CARE/Crawley and Medical Sciences Buildings
 Dean’s suite
 IvaDean Lair’s office, E-251.

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