Message from Walter M. Deriso
By Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso 68C 72L, Chair, Campaign Emory
As a banker, I know a bit about investing. When you invest in something you believe in—something that inspires you—the emotional returns are always high. During Campaign Emory, nearly 150,000 donors demonstrated their belief in Emory to the tune of more than $1.69 billion. These are numbers that inspire.
And behind the numbers are stories that humble. In this special campaign issue of Emory Magazine, you will read about Emory researchers who are solving some of the most pressing problems in the political, business, and health arenas. You will read about history brought to bear on Emory’s future and legacies illustrated through literature and art. You will come to know faculty members with rousing dedication and energy, people whose lives were saved by Emory medical teams, and communities served by innovative Emory programs. You will learn that we have built bridges and crossed bridges, and that we aspire to reach more places still.
You help us in that endeavor, not only because many of you holding this magazine contributed to the campaign but also because you represent Emory in your work and in the world. From the smallest dedication of time, to the most significant financial contribution, to the simple but not so easy task of putting your best foot forward every day, you made Campaign Emory a success, and you make Emory shine, even in darker times.
It was a dark time economically for this country when the campaign was launched. As I have said, we could not have made the launch announcement at a worse time, yet we had no way to foresee that when we were in the planning stages. So with great leadership from President Jim Wagner and Senior Vice President Susan Cruse, and with hopes high, faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers, and friends kept heads and hearts focused on the mission. In fact, $349 million in gifts came from Emory alumni, and an astonishing $108.5 million came from faculty and staff. Collectively those commitments are the best testimonial that Emory faculty, researchers, medical experts, and students are doing great things, because they come from people closest to the work.
When President Wagner asked me to serve as volunteer campaign chair prior to the campaign’s launch, I was humbled to be asked and proud to serve, along with campaign cabinet members Ellen Bailey 63C 87MBA, Rusty French 67C, Doug Ivester, and Teresa Rivero 85OX 87B 93MPH; the unit campaign volunteers; and all other volunteers who contributed to the campaign’s success. I thank them. As part of the Emory community, you’ll be proud of what you find on these pages.