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Transforming Medicine Campaign

By Barbra Alan

A standing committee of the DMS Alumni Council, which is the governing body of the Dartmouth Medical School Alumni Association, the Fund for DMS Working Group advises and assists the Medical School in achieving its Campaign fund- raising goal and works on strategies to increase participation and encourage yearly giving to the Fund.The Working Group comprises 12 alumni members representing a broad range of geographic regions (one member is even based in Africa much of the year) and of classes (there's a 30-year span in graduation years).What the members share, notes Moran,"is a strong feeling for the School and the wish to back it up with action."

History of the Fund
While the history of alumni giving to DMS is long, a formal annual giving program didn't exist until the mid-1970s.The Fund for DMS (then known as the Alumni Fund) was established through the efforts of Barbara Blough, founding director of the DMS Office of Alumni Affairs. Blough came to DMS in 1975 as a grant-proposal writer.A year later, when DMS created the Office of Alumni Affairs, she was tapped to be its first director."At that time, DMS was in difficult straits financially," Blough recalls. "This prompted the decision to reach out to alumni."

"They were so responsive," says Blough of the alumni she contacted for support of the newly created annual fund."It was truly amazing. I think the reason for that was they had such a good experience at Dartmouth Medical School, and the teaching was so excellent, they saw the Medical School as the great launching pad for their careers." Blough also notes that many alumni were inspired to support their alma mater out of their deep reverence for former Dean Rolf Syvertsen, who was on the DMS faculty for nearly 40 years.With some alumni, she says, "all I had to do was refer to Dr. Syvertsen."

Three decades later, more recent alumni still note their excellent medical education and their fondness for their teachers—such as Drs. Elmer Pfefferkorn, Joseph

Rolf Syvertsen, dean of DMS from 1945 to 1960. Syvertsen was a gruff but much-loved mentor.

Nearly 1,000 alumni, parents,
faculty, and friends made gifts
to the annual fund totaling
$589,169 —making 2006 the
most successful year yet for
the Fund for DMS.

O'Donnell, William Mosenthal, and Miguel Marin-Padilla—as reasons why they choose to support their alma mater.

Whatever their reasons for giving, it gives Moran great satisfaction to see the Fund for DMS succeed as it has. "It's a privilege to take part in supporting the Medical School to see that growth and excellence continue," he says.

With a record-breaking fund-raising year, and the dedication of volunteers like Moran, there's every indication that the best is yet to come for the Fund for DMS.

Raising the bar
The financial goal of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is to raise $250 million by 2009. Even more far-reaching is its goal of "raising the bar" in medicine. Of questioning assumptions—respecting tradition but not following it blindly. Of erasing boundaries—translating science from the lab bench to the bedside by connecting researchers with clinicians. Of creating solutions to the nation's most critical health-care issues. Of transforming medicine.

Annual giving
The Fund for Dartmouth Medical School sustains the fiscal flexibility that the Medical School needs in order to be able to seize opportunities and respond to the demands of providing the next generation of doctors and scientists with the best education and training possible.

Within the Transforming Medicine Campaign is a $3.58-million target for the Fund for DMS—to support scholarships, curriculum development, the recruitment and retention of the highest caliber faculty, the creation of innovative programs, the maintenance of state-of-the-art facilities, and the overall operation of the Medical School.

Fiscal year 2006 was the most successful year ever for the Fund for DMS. Nearly 1,000 donors—alumni and others—contributed $589,169 to the Fund.

Learning more
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu

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Barbra Alan is assistant director of development communications for the Medical School and Medical Center.

If you'd like to offer feedback about this article, we'd welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

This article may not be reproduced or reposted without permission. To inquire about permission, contact DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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