Building a Powerful Culture of Philanthropy

Alumni and friends, as well as foundations, provide valuable support for Emory
group photo

Among Emory’s newest philanthropists are Jordan Stein 12C and Stephen Ratner 12C (shown with Emory staff member Emily Sankey at the 2012 Founders Dinner), who established the Student Hardship Fund in 2011. They have gained $70,000 in support from the Emory community so far.

Campaign Emory

Emory owes much gratitude to the philanthropy of private foundations. Their generosity continues to transform the university with new spaces, student and faculty awards, research grants, and health care improvements. Now another transformation is at hand: Alumni and friends are claiming their places as philanthropists alongside foundations, and their enthusiasm is creating a culture of giving with the potential to sustain Emory’s mission for generations.

“One of the most remarkable outcomes of this campaign has to do with the new sense of pride and responsibility we’re developing at Emory,” says President James Wagner. “People from around the globe are voting with their checkbooks that Emory is a valuable investment, and Emory has an associated responsibility to deliver.”

Despite the national economic downturn that began as Emory leaders announced Campaign Emory to the public in fall 2008, increasing numbers of alumni, friends, grateful patients, faculty, staff, and parents are trusting the university with their financial support. As of June 30, 2012, individual donors had generated more than $630 million in campaign gifts.

“During difficult economic times, we invest the resources we do have in the places that make the most difference in our communities,” Wagner explains. “Our donors are seeing how their personal commitments to the larger community can be satisfied by continuing to invest in Emory.”

Consider this example. An immigrant with a Romanian nursing degree and a ferocious work ethic graduated from Emory this year, having earned a near-perfect GPA and a string of leadership and service awards. Alumni and friends investing in financial aid at Emory enabled this talented student’s success.

A New York alumnus who loved intramural sports as a student made a gift to improve Emory’s athletic fields and facilities and establish an endowment for the intramural program. A Georgia couple is funding Parkinson’s disease research in gratitude for the years of expert care Emory has provided them. A Texas alumna who serves on the Board of Trustees is championing the Student Hardship Fund, created by two members of the class of 2012 to help students experiencing financial crises.

Campaign gifts to Emory are as varied as the individuals making them. Donors are matching their own interests with the university’s work in every school and unit, both at home and abroad, and the momentum their gifts create is moving Emory closer to its $1.6 billion goal.

“Giving to Emory is about ensuring that what our university stands for will thrive,” Wagner says. “Because our mission involves caring for society, our alumni and friends know that their dreams for a better society can be lived out through Emory.”

To learn how to connect your own philanthropic goals with Emory’s work through a gift to Campaign Emory, visit and call or email any of the representatives listed.

Email the editor