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UAlbany Announces $500 Million Fund-raising Campaign Goal
By Mary Fiess
The Campaign for the University at Albany, an ambitious fund-raising effort that seeks to raise $500 million in private funds to advance UAlbany into the top tier of public research universities, is officially under way.

President speaking at event
President Karen R. Hitchcock speaking at Campaign event./Photo by Jeff Guntert

UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock and George Hearst III, president of The University at Albany Foundation Board of Directors, launched the campaign at a black-tie kickoff dinner April 26 in the Recreation and Convocation Center.

“We hold for this University a vision…a bold vision,” said Hitchcock. “We intend to rank among the nation’s top 30 public research universities by the end of this decade. This campaign is a measure of our ability to fulfill with excellence our historic mission: addressing the critical issues of a changing society and enriching lives. The rapidly evolving society in which we live has a profound impact on the knowledge and skills a UAlbany student possesses and on the research direction of our faculty. It is essential that the University build on its tradition and strengths to meet these changing needs.”

“It’s an extraordinarily ambitious campaign, but the University itself is ambitious,” said Hearst, associate publisher of the Albany Times Union. “This University is on an incredible upward curve in terms of the excellence and expanding breadth of its academic programs.”

“UAlbany’s campaign will help to significantly solidify and strengthen its stature as a member of the great public universities in the world,” said Robert King, chancellor of the State University of New York, who led a toast to the success of the campaign. “The State University of New York commends UAlbany for undertaking such an ambitious campaign - an unprecedented campaign - that exceeds any goal within the State University system. Such an accomplishment will secure for all New Yorkers and the nation the kind of university that the people of this state and nation deserve.”

More than 400 UAlbany supporters attended the kickoff celebration in the RACC, which was transformed for the evening into an elegant setting that highlighted the University’s history and served as the stage for entertainment by UAlbany students, comedian Cathy Ladman ’75, an urban rhythm group called Rhythm Extreme, and for the premiere of a new University video.

Mary P. Nicholaou
Mary P. Nicholaou who earned a master’s degree from the University in 1961, made an estate commitment in memory of her parents, Procopios and Kalliope Grimanelli Nicholaou, that will establish the Nicholaou Excelsior Professorship in Hellenic Studies./Photo by Jeff Guntert

The event was also a fitting occasion to shine a spotlight - literally - on five UAlbany donors whose substantial gifts were announced by Hearst. Two of the gifts will establish endowed professorships, which are one of the campaign’s highest priorities.

Mary P. Nicholaou, who earned a master’s degree from the University in 1961, made an estate commitment in memory of her parents that will establish the Nicholaou Excelsior Professorship in Hellenic Studies. UAlbany Professor Emeritus Pauline M. Vaillancourt and Murielle T. Vaillancourt also made an estate commitment that will establish the University’s first Excelsior Professorship committed to medical research. UAlbany Professor Paul Leonard and his wife Kristine are establishing an endowment to aid community college graduates.

Also announced was a surprise pledge from the University’s Alumni Association, providing substantial support for endowment. “Supporting the University is what the Alumni Association is all about,” said Michael J. Corso, president of the association. “We are all proud of Karen Hitchcock’s bold vision and of our alma mater.”

Endowed professorships are one of the campaign’s highest priorities, and two gifts were announced at the kickoff to establish endowed professorships. UAlbany Professor Emerita Pauline M. Vaillancourt and Murielle T. Vaillancourt made an estate commitment that will establish the University’s first Excelsior Professorship committed to medical research. From left, above, are: Dr. Pauline M. Vaillancourt, UAlbany Associate Vice President for Advancement Sorrell Chesin, Susan Howard, and Murielle Vaillancourt. /Photo by Jeff Guntert

Numerous donors have already shown support for the University’s campaign goals during the “silent phase” of the campaign, which began July 1, 1998. To date, $272 million has been committed against the half-billion dollar mark through the support of such companies as IBM, GE and Pfizer; foundations like Hartford, Hearst and Avon; and individuals including Thomas and Connie D’Ambra, Marty Silverman, and the late Carla Delray.

The campaign’s focus, said Hitchcock, is on four key areas -- faculty, students, academic programs and facilities - for it is strategic efforts in each of these areas that will move the University into the top tier by all the important measures.

“We must continue to attract faculty who are leaders in their disciplines, who are innovative and aggressive in the pursuit of new knowledge. We must draw students who are similarly driven and visionary, who are attracted to UAlbany both for its excellence and its extraordinary breadth of opportunity. At the same time, we want each of our academic programs to join those already ranked among the best in the country. And our facilities must meet the needs of students and faculty. They must be adaptable to ever-changing technologies and appropriate to a preeminent public university,” she said.

The campaign will strengthen UAlbany’s endowment, increase undergraduate merit scholarships and endowed graduate fellowships, establish endowed chairs and professorships, upgrade aging facilities, and help in the construction and furnishing of new buildings. At $500 million, the benchmark is nearly tenfold greater than the University’s $55-million campaign of the early 1990s, and will require record levels of support by alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and corporations.

Chancellor Robert King
SUNY Chancellor Robert King offered a toast to the success of the University and the campaign./Photo by Jeff Guntert

By some measures, such as federal research expenditures, the University already ranks among the very best public research universities. When compared to public universities which are members of the Association of American Universities, UAlbany (which is not a member) ranks 30th in federal research expenditures. In other areas, such as endowment and student-faculty ratio, private support will play a critical role in moving the University into the top ranks.

About $51.3 million of the fund-raising effort is targeted for building the University’s endowment, which now amounts to $13.4 million.

“Strengthening our endowment is critical,” said Vice President for University Advancement Robert Ashton, the University’s chief fund-raising officer. “Historically, endowments have been so important to building great public universities because they provide a reliable source of flexible funds. They allow a university to respond to unanticipated opportunities and challenges nimbly in a time frame that’s not typically accommodated by the public budget process.”

Other campaign priorities include the Life Sciences Research Initiative, with a goal of $20 million, and a new $25 million Business Education Center, which would provide a state-of-the-art facility for UAlbany’s highly regarded School of Business. The cornerstone of the Life Sciences Research Initiative is a $78 million life sciences building now rising on the main campus. While the state is paying for the building construction, the University is seeking $8 million in private support to furnish and equip it and another $12 million to recruit and support research teams who will work there.

Two of the largest gifts received to date reflect UAlbany’s international strength in nanosciences and nanoengineering, an area of explosive development in the last two years. In April of 2001, IBM donated $100 million in funds and equipment to establish the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics, representing the largest gift in UAlbany history and the single largest donation ever by IBM. A year later, SEMATECH, a consortium of leading computer chip manufacturers, announced an initial investment of $193 million to establish a research and development facility at the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics, of which $100 million is a gift to the University.

All of the University’s schools and colleges, University Libraries, athletics and other campus units have developed strategic plans and analyzed what they need to help advance UAlbany, and these needs are the basis for their specific goals within the overall campaign.

For more information, go to: www.albany/edu/campaign.

Bertini to Speak at Graduate Commencement
By Christy DeLaMater

The University at Albany’s 159th Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18.

Catherine Bertini
Catherine Bertini

Catherine Bertini ’71, undersecretary-general for management to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will receive the Medallion of the University and serve as keynote speaker at the graduate ceremony, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 17 in the University’s Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC).

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Educational Opportunities Program Director Carson Carr, Jr., Ed.D., will address students and guests at the undergraduate ceremony the following day at 10 a.m. on the lawn behind the Science Library.

Carr, who joined the University in 1985, is beloved by students, faculty, and staff alike. Under his leadership the graduation rate of the EOP program doubled, to more than 50 percent. For the past eight years, students in UAlbany’s EOP program have exceeded the national graduation rate for all students entering four-year institutions. For those EOP students entering in 1995, the graduation rate was 64 percent.

In 2001, Carr became one of the first individuals ever to be honored with the Governor’s Tribute to African-American Leaders of Excellence in State Service Award.

Bertini, a UAlbany alumna, was appointed to the position of undersecretary-general in January. She is responsible for all administrative and managerial matters in the United Nations worldwide, including the leadership and management of U.N. senior officials dealing with budget, finance, human resources, management policy development, information systems, purchasing, travel, investments, facilities management and security of the staff in New York City.

More than 200 Volunteers Needed Help alleviate the last-minute struggle for volunteers by signing up now to help out at Commencement Weekend. Volunteers are needed in the following areas:

  • Graduate ceremony (Saturday morning)
  • Undergraduate ceremony (Sunday morning)
  • Information booths (both days)
  • Individual school ceremonies (both days)
  • Torch Night (Saturday evening)

Enjoy special privileges, such as:

  • Complimentary breakfast both mornings and/or the picnic Saturday
  • Special parking in the RACC lot
  • Compensatory time off (more details available through the Human Resources Office)

Don’t hesitate - Sign up now by sending in the yellow form that you received in the mail. For more information, contact Christy DeLaMater at cdelamater@uamail.albany.edu. Ask a friend, a family member, or a co-worker. Help make our graduates’ capstone experience a positive one.

Prior to her current position, Bertini served for 10 years as executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest international humanitarian agency. She was appointed to that position in 1992 on the recommendation of President George H.W. Bush and was reappointed in 1997 with the endorsement of President Bill Clinton.

As WFP executive director, Bertini assisted hundreds of millions of victims of wars and natural disasters throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. She was widely praised for her efforts to end famine in North Korea and for delivering enormous amounts of urgently needed food aid to Afghanistan in 2001; ensuring the provision of food supplies during the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo; and averting the mass starvation that threatened 16 million people in the Horn of Africa in 2000. While working at the organization’s headquarters in Rome, Bertini also modernized the administration of WFP to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness, and promoted the role of women in the management of WFP operations.

Prior to joining WFP, Bertini served as United States assistant secretary of Agriculture for Food and Consumer Services, and as acting assistant secretary of the Family Support Administration in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She also worked in state government in Illinois and New York, and, for 10 years, was a public affairs officer for Container Corporation of America in Chicago. In 1986, Bertini was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has been active in politics in the United States for many years.

Bertini has been honored with the Republic of Italy’s Order of Merit and the Association of African Journalists’ Prize of Excellence. In 1996, The Times (of London) Magazine named her one of “The World’s Most Powerful Women.” Earlier in her career, a citation the American Public Welfare Association presented to Bertini noted that she “epitomizes the very best in public service.”

Bertini earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at UAlbany in 1971. She credits her early experience at the University with giving her a strong start in her personal and professional life.

In addition to the University-wide ceremonies, every school and department will hold individual recognition ceremonies throughout the weekend.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Congressman John Sweeney is scheduled to speak at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy ceremony Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Page Hall.
  • Rex Smith, vice president and editor of the Albany Times Union, will speak at the Department of Communication’s ceremony Saturday at 7 p.m. in the RACC.
  • Dr. David Fleming ’75, deputy director for Science and Public Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak at the School of Public Health ceremony Saturday at 2 p.m. in Rensselaer. Fleming received his B.S. in biology.
  • Steven Pleydle ’78, director of the Tax and Fiscal Studies Ways and Means Committee of the New York State Assembly, will speak at the economics department ceremony Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. Pleydle received his B.A. in economics.
  • Christine Haile, UAlbany’s chief information officer, will speak at the School of Information Science and Policy ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday in the PAC auditorium.
  • Christopher D’Elia, UAlbany’s former vice president for Research, will address graduates and families at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences ceremony Saturday at 3 p.m. in the CESTM rotunda.

According to the Registrar’s Office, approximately 2,700 students are expected to graduate this May. More than 1,700 undergraduate, 870 master’s, and 134 doctoral candidates may potentially participate in the ceremonies.

A New Look for the Goddess
Minerva, the ancient goddess of wisdom, technical skill, invention, and the symbol of the University at Albany, State University of New York, has had a makeover to bring her into the 21st century.

new logo banner
Minerva's new look./Photo by Mark Schmidt

The new University seal, symbol, and logo were unveiled Thursday, April 10, at that traditional rite of spring known as Fountain Day.

The figure of Minerva and the Latin motto Sapientia et sua et docendi causa (Wisdom both for its own sake and for the sake of teaching) have appeared on the University seal since about 1913. The date 1844 at the base of the seal signifies the founding of the New York State Normal School, from which the University at Albany is directly descended.

Minerva’s fresh look began with the University’s master planning process, which called for the need for a new sign system around the campus. Catherine Herman, UAlbany associate vice president of Media and Marketing, spearheaded the project and aimed to develop a fresh look for the revered Minerva icon and treatment of the University at Albany official name, or word mark, so that there would be consistency across the campus in UAlbany’s identity, as well as in the logo used in banners, brochures, and business cards.

A University-wide committee has been meeting since last July on the issue, and the Albany firm of Oberlander Design was retained to give Minerva her new look. The logo has met with wide approval on campus, as well as questions about how it is to be used. Typical questions follow:

Q: How can I obtain the new University at Albany logo standards and guidelines?
A: The new University at Albany logo standards and guidelines can be obtained by visiting the Graphic Identity Web site at: www.albany.edu/logo and viewing the Graphic Identity Manual.

Q: Can I obtain the logo to create letterhead on my computer for letters, e-mails and faxes?
A: Yes, you can obtain the logo by contacting Fred Doyle in Creative Services at (518) 442-3674 or e-mailing him at fdoyle@uamail.albany.edu.

Q: Can the University at Albany logo be customized to include the name of our administrative or academic department or center?
A: Yes. If you are in an administrative department, Creative Services can provide you with the correct, official unit mark for your department, as specified by the identity system. If you are in an academic or research department or center - or wish to create a promotional look for a new program or event, Creative Services can help you create an identifier, or logo, that will meet your communications objectives while reinforcing the University at Albany’s institutional identity goals. Contact Doyle in Creative Services at (518) 442-3674 or send an e-mail to him at fdoyle@uamail.albany.edu.

Q: Where can I go for help with the design of a publication and use of the University at Albany logo?
A: Creative Services is the place to go for help with the design of a publication, including use of the University at Albany logo. Contact Creative Services at (518) 442-3674 or fdoyle@uamail.albany.edu.

Q: When may I use the seal?
A: The University seal is reserved for use on formal and official documents, such as diplomas, certificates, and medallions. If you have questions about when it is appropriate to use the seal, please contact Carol Flax in the Office of Media & Marketing at (518) 437-4786 or cflax@uamail.albany.edu.

Q: Can the Minerva symbol be used by itself?
A: The Minerva symbol should not be separated from the word mark. If you have a usage where you would like to use the Minerva symbol alone, please request permission from Media & Marketing.

Q: May I use the Great Dane in our publications?
A: The official University at Albany mascot, the Great Dane, is reserved for use by Athletics. University offices, employees, and student organizations must obtain approval from the University Athletic Office by contacting Kevin Frattura at (518) 442-3310 or kfrattura@uamail.albany.edu.

Professor Bosco to Deliver Address for Emerson Family May 25
During the centennial observance of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s birth in 1903, convocations, memorial exercises, and an outpouring of critical studies devoted to Emerson occurred. In 1996, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society designated UAlbany Distinguished Service Professor of English Ronald A. Bosco co-chair of this year’s bicentennial activities sponsored by the society and associated learned societies. In March, he delivered an address on “The Emersons in Concord, Emerson in Concord, Emerson’s Concord: the Family, the Man, and his Town” at the opening of the Concord Free Public Library’s Emerson Bicentennial Exhibition, and another on “Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Formation of American Literary, Intellectual, and ‘Self’ Culture - 1803 to 2003” for the Tichnor Society at the opening of the Emerson Bicentennial Exhibition, which Bosco co-curated, at the Houghton Library of Harvard University. In April he co-directed “Spires of Form,” an international conference in recognizing the Emerson bicentennial at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, but unquestionably the high point of Bosco’s activities this year will occur May 25, Emerson’s 200th birthday, when he delivers an address for the Emerson family at “Bush,” Emerson’s own home in Concord. In this, Bosco is following a rare tradition, since in 1903 the philosopher William James and the literary critic Thomas Wentworth Higginson were prominent among the luminaries who gathered in Concord May 25 to address and celebrate Emerson’s cultural legacy.

Carr, Palmer, IFW Win Bread and Roses Awards
By Anna Z. Radkowski-Lee

The Council of Women’s Groups presented this year’s Bread and Roses Awards to Susan Palmer, Carson Carr, Jr., and Initiatives For Women. The Bread and Roses Award is given every year by the University at Albany Council of Women’s Groups to individuals - staff, faculty, administrators, students and organizations - who have made extraordinary contributions on behalf of gender equity to enhance the quality of life for women at the University at Albany.

Bread & Roses  awards
From the left, Susan Palmer, Carson Carr, Jr., and Kathy Turek (for IFW)./Photo by Mark Schmidt

The name of the award recalls a slogan coined at the beginning of the century by union women. Striking for shorter workdays and vacation benefits, as well as for a decent workplace and higher wages, these women called not only for “bread” - adequate pay - but also for “roses” - a better quality of life.

Palmer is the energetic, creative, supportive and dedicated extended learning coordinator in the School of Education. Although gender-blind in meeting her professional responsibilities, she has concentrated her University service on enhancing the status of women. She served as co-chair of the Women’s Concerns Committee (1995-1997) and has been a sexual harassment adviser since 1996. She was an invaluable member of the Initiatives For Women (IFW) Selection Committee and is a member of the IFW Steering Committee, as well as an IFW-Avon Scholar “Big Sister.” Palmer earned an M.L.S. from the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College.

Carson Carr, Jr., Ed.D., associate vice president for Academic Affairs and director of the Educational Opportunities Program, came to the University at Albany in September 1985. In the ensuing 18 years, he has served as associate dean of Academic Affairs, adjunct professor in the School of Education and Africana Studies, and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs while advocating for and mentoring disadvantaged students. His strength, encouragement, and guidance have also benefited his female colleagues, many of whom have earned post-graduate degrees. Carr has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from West Chester University; a master’s degree in counseling from Seton Hall University; and a doctorate in educational administration from Syracuse University.

Initiatives For Women (IFW) was created to benefit women students, faculty, and staff by providing resources to advance their educational and professional goals. This all-volunteer organization, chaired by Kathy Turek, has raised and distributed over $130,000 through competitive awards to more than 250 individuals and programs since 1993.

The Spring Celebration April 9 included remarks from Roslyn Jefferson, co-chair of the Council of Women’s Groups, and Alison Ciesielski Olin, co-chair of the Women’s Concerns Committee; Maritza Martinez, co-chair of the Women’s Concerns Committee; Judith Saidel and Anna Z. Radkowski-Lee, who presented the Bread and Roses Awards to this year’s recipients; Bina Srinivasan of the Gujarat Forum for Women’s Studies; and closing remarks from Carol Anne Germain, past co-chair of the Council of Women’s Groups and the driving force behind this year’s celebration.

The event’s planners offer special thanks to Linda Reeves at the University Libraries for her patience, time, and expertise on the program guide and the Women’s Connection given to everyone attending the celebration.

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