The Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester is receiving four major gifts totaling more than $7 million in support of its capital campaign, school officials announced Thursday.
The gifts are meant to advance strategic initiatives in scholarship and faculty support, curricular enhancement and increasing the school’s presence in New York City, Simon School officials said. They are part of the university’s $1.2 billion capital raising project known as “The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.”
Ronald Fielding has pledged $5 million in scholarship support to the Simon School. An active alumnus and generous benefactor, Fielding spent more than 25 years in the municipal bond industry before retiring from OppenheimerFunds Inc. in 2009
“I am happy to share the fruits of my business success with the Simon School, which helped me to bridge economic theory with business realities, giving me the ideal preparation to start and succeed at my own business,” Fielding said.
Daniel Lazarek, co-owner of Atlanta-based insurance company Access Insurance Holdings Inc., has made a $1 million commitment to support the recently established student-run Simon School Venture Capital Fund. He said he was proud to give back and help others succeed in their own businesses.
“My gift to ‘jump start’ and establish the Simon School Venture Capital Fund will provide a vehicle with guidance from experienced and successful entrepreneurs to give Simon students, alums, and all associated an ability for ‘skin in the game’ to guide this pipeline of entrepreneurial pursuits,” he said.
Another $1 million gift came from Joseph Abrams and Patricia Abrams, who pledged the money to both the Simon School and the University of Rochester Medical Center. The Simon School will receive $750,000 to establish the Joseph and Patricia Abrams Endowed Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, while $250,000 will support the Abrams Family Fund for Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“Investing in the education of our future leaders is very important, and I hope this gift, in some small way, helps the faculty, administration, students, and alumni continue to flourish,” Joseph Abrams said.
James Gleason, a longtime supporter of the Simon School whose past gifts led to the construction of James S. Gleason Hall in 2001, has committed $150,000 to provide scholarships and faculty support.
The gifts helped the school surpass $55 million toward its $85 million goal as part of the Meliora Challenge, Dean Mark Zupan said.
“Their support will help us to enhance our programs, attract and retain members of our renowned faculty, and make a Simon education possible for more students,” Zupan said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with the best possible management education in the years to come.”
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