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Campus Life Donors Strengthen Community

Athletics and recreation at Emory are stronger today because of the Michael Kaminsky Intramural Park, part of a $1 million memorial gift to the Division of Campus Life. Kaminsky 89C (pictured above at the gift celebration with his daughters) can see this gift at work in the improved fields and facilities at the intramural park, and his endowment funding ensures the continued growth and quality of intramural athletics.

Chaired by Emory Board of Trustees member Laura Hardman 67C, the campaign for Campus Life raised more than $8 million—far exceeding its $5 million goal and creating countless leadership and service opportunities for Emory students. Philanthropic priorities going forward include athletics and recreation, the Barkley Forum debate team, leadership and service programs, and unrestricted gifts to the Campus Life Fund for Excellence.

“Funding goes beyond providing for our activities, athletic teams, services, and facilities,” says Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean of Campus Life, who joined Emory in summer 2012. “Philanthropic support enables Emory to enhance the student experience in meaningful ways.”

Campus Life donors are connected to Emory as alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff. They often target their gifts to athletic teams, student groups, the Career Center, and Greek organizations. A shining example is Kaminsky, who gives because intramural sports were so important to his own college experience and those of many other Emory students. He played intramural baseball, football, and basketball and served as sports chairman of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.

“It’s meaningful to me that I’m helping improve Campus Life at Emory,” says Kaminsky, managing director at investment firm Neuberger Berman in New York. “Intramurals at Emory offer a unique experience. Helping continue that experience and improving the fields will be important to the university.”

Each varsity athletic team has benefitted from philanthropic support. Gifts to varsity sports include significant funding for the softball stadium and covered batting cages through Craig Matthews’ leadership gift of $100,000 in memory of his late wife, Diane Keyes Matthews, and support from alumni and parents has enabled the construction of a tennis stadium. To honor former men’s tennis coach Don Schroer, more than 25 former players donated and named a court in his honor at the facility. Donors also include Emory’s 2003 and 2004 NCAA championship women’s tennis teams.

A new endowment for the swimming and diving team comes from Charles M. Barron 45C 46D, and an anonymous parent has established an endowment for the women’s soccer team. Several alumni, including Deborah J. Jackson 85C, have created an endowment to name the Department of Athletics and Recreation director’s position in honor of their friend and mentor, Clyde Partin Sr.

The endowment for Emory’s nationally recognized debate program, the Barkley Forum, has been established with support from alumni including Randy New 76C 82L, Sharon Semmens 80C 80G, Hoyt Young 64C 67M, Susan Cahoon 68C, Bill Brewster 84C 84G, and Richard Willard 69C. The Barkley Forum recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, and the debate team’s success has inspired gifts from alumni, parents, faculty, and staff.

Volunteer Emory founders Wendy Rosenberg-Nadel 82C and Debbie Genzer 82C have helped secure gifts to support Emory’s largest student organization. A record number of students participated in service trips in 2011–2012, and donor gifts to Volunteer Emory create such opportunities.

Philanthropy is transforming Emory’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life. The Gay and Lesbian Alumni (GALA) Leadership Award provides a stipend based on financial need and a student’s leadership efforts to advocate for LGBT rights within the Emory community. The Daniel D. Adame Leadership Fund—created by Malcolm Bruni 92C—offers leadership opportunities for LGBT students with a passion for healthy living.

Campus Life donor gifts support the Counseling Center and Emory’s Office of Health Promotion. Several fraternities completed fund-raising projects during Campaign Emory, including Alpha Tau Omega, which supported the ATO-Dobbs Leadership Development Fund.

Campaign Emory’s legacy for students, says Nair, is a deeper spirit of community and a collection of memories that carry long past graduation. “Together we are creating a culture that is more aware of the power of philanthropy and its ability to reinforce what is both great and good at Emory and within ourselves,” he says.

To support Campus Life, visit For more information, contact Andrew P. Christopherson by email at or phone, 404.712.4682.


Campus Life Volunteer Campaign Chair: Laura Hardman 67C