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Campus News

Bold. Vision.
The Campaign for the University at Albany

Current and former faculty lend their support.

by Carol Olechowski and Mary Fiess

For Distinguished Professor Edward Blanchard, one very important part of his work is mentoring doctoral students. Under his tutelage, 40 students have earned their doctorates in clinical psychology, and another seven are currently at the dissertation stage.

The students’ quests are not easy, he’s the first to tell you, and one challenge they sometimes face is finding the financial support that allows them to complete their doctoral work. Now, by establishing an endowment through the Campaign for the University at Albany, Blanchard and his wife, Dr. Christina Blanchard, will help address that need.

“This University has been very good to me, and I hope this endowment will, in turn, be very worthwhile for the University, particularly the students in our clinical psychology program,” said Blanchard, who is director of the nationally recognized Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders. He and his wife, formerly on the faculty at Albany Medical College, have donated about $45,000 to establish an endowment for awards to doctoral clinical psychology students and to underwrite colloquia in clinical psychology.

Building endowment is a major priority of the Campaign for the University at Albany, which was publicly launched in April, and another recent gift from a longtime UAlbany staff member and his wife will also boost the University’s endowment and address campus needs.

J. Paul Ward, Ph.D., B.A. ’53, M.A. ’54 and his wife, Doris Vater Ward, B.A. ’52, M.A., ’53, have established a charitable gift annuity to benefit an endowment, the $250,000 University Libraries Fund for Materials in Fine Arts and Performing Arts.

“Through this gift, we are able to support an area in which we both have a keen interest. Teaching materials in this area are incredibly expensive, and often, resources are not budgeted by academic departments. The goal of raising $250,000 should go a long way toward augmenting funds for these classroom materials,” said Paul Ward.

Over the years, it has become “apparent that the University at Albany must seek more and more outside funding,” said Paul. “The Campaign for the University at Albany seeks to raise a realistic amount for an endowment that will assist the institution in maintaining its tradition of educational excellence.”

The annuity also benefits the Wards. “We receive a substantial guaranteed income at a time when current interest rates are extremely low and equities are volatile,” he added.

Paul joined the UAlbany staff in 1962 after teaching secondary school history for eight years, including two years in Nigeria. During his tenure at the University, he taught in the School of Education’s Teacher Education Program and, for 20 years, directed the International Student Program, where he advised students from 110 nations. After completing her master’s studies in biology, Doris taught secondary school science in several schools over a 30-year period. She was a faculty member at the Lagos Anglican Grammar School in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as at schools in Lexington, Massachusetts; and in Castleton, Glens Falls, and South Colonie Central School in New York State.

UAlbany faculty and staff have made 2,270 gifts since July 1, 1998, when the Campaign’s silent phase began.

“Gifts by faculty and staff are very special because they are a tangible reflection of our campus community’s affection for and commitment to UAlbany,” said Ruth Killoran, associate vice president for University Advancement and Campaign director.

The Campaign for the University at Albany aims to raise $500 million in private support to help achieve the excellence that will move the University into the top tier of American public research universities. To date, Campaign support totals $277 million.

In keeping with the University’s strategic plan, the Campaign is focusing on four key areas: endowed chairs and professorships; endowed scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students; academic program support; and new facilities. Building endowment is a major goal because it will provide an increased steady source of income through which programs can be strengthened.

Since the Campaign’s public launch in April 2003, University President Karen R. Hitchcock and other UAlbany leaders have reached out to alumni and friends across the country to enlist their support for its ambitious goals. Regional campaign kickoff events have been held in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York City, California, and Georgia, and are scheduled for Florida, Boston, and Washington, D.C., in the weeks ahead.