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Donors enthusiastic about faculty presenters
during first fall Founders Society event
Donors visiting the Storrs campus November 1 learned from faculty experts about biomaterials, technology and talented women at the first fall Founders Society event organized by The University of Connecticut Foundation.
Philip Lodewick, '66 B.S., '67 M.B.A., chair of the Foundation's board of directors, said "It is my hope that this will become an annual tradition and that Fall Leadership Day and the other days we plan for the future will give Founders Society supporters the opportunity to see some of the richness within the University and the centers of excellence at Storrs, the regional campuses and the Health Center."
Despite the rain and wind, the enthusiasm of the 50 alumni and supporters who attended was not dampened.
The day of activities for members of the Founders Society also included a presentation on the campus master plan by Chancellor Mark Emmert, and a picnic with President Philip E. Austin prior to the football game against Boston University.
President Austin told those attending that the University aspires to a high level of distinction in teaching, research, athletics and the arts. To achieve that distinction, the University relies on the support of the state, the business community, and the philanthropic community, he said. "We have made tremendous progress. However, we still have some distance to travel," Austin said. "We plan to achieve a much more prominent statewide presence, which will help give us the visibility appropriate to the state's research university and which should help us expand our base of state, private and corporate support."
"There is a strong sense of change and mission at all levels of the University," added Lodewick, who is president of The Tradewell Corp. of Ridgefield, a high technology leasing company. "My hope is that as this flagship institution continues to rebuild and reposition itself, it will be recognized as one of the great universities in the United States," he said.
Faculty presenters at the event included Jon Goldberg, professor of prosthodontics and director of the Center for Biomaterials at the Health Center; George Hoag, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Environmental Research Institute; and Sally Reis, associate professor of educational psychology.
"We wanted to show our supporters the depth and breadth of the University," said Kenneth Ashworth, vice president for development of the Foundation. "It is important to introduce our donors to the people who do research and teaching at the University, and it was especially gratifying to see how well received our faculty were by alumni and other friends."
Ashworth added that "The purpose of the day was to say thank you, publicly, to our supporters."
The Founders Society was established last spring to recognize donors who have made an annual gift of at least $1,000, with lifetime membership beginning at a cumulative level of $100,000. This year, there were 1,600 individuals and couples afforded membership. Their gifts totaled $10.3 million, more than half of the year's $19.8 million in receipts.
Ashworth said the Founders Society recognizes a tradition of giving that can be traced to the earliest days of the University. "The Founders Society provides a link between the people who support us now and our original donors, the brothers who founded the University. UConn's first ever gift was the property at Storrs."