Office of Institutional Advancement

From Our Executive VP

Elizabeth Dale

It is a privilege and an honor to serve as Jefferson’s Executive Vice President during this pivotal time in health care. A 192-year tradition of excellence coupled with the dynamic leadership of President and CEO Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, positions Jefferson to take the lead in revolutionizing American health care during this era of rapid and far-reaching change.

With Dr. Klasko at the helm, thousands of our colleagues and constituents have been collaborating on a blueprint for strategic action. We aim to unify the hospital, the university and the practice plans to create “One Jefferson” that will be the global front-runner in the integration of healthcare delivery, research and education.

As plans for Jefferson’s future unfold, our team at the Office of Institutional Advancement, formerly the Jefferson Foundation, is embarking upon an exciting journey to enable Jefferson to fully optimize its philanthropic potential in every arena and to strengthen an engaged alumni association. This is my third post as a chief development officer for a major institution, and I am proud of the programs put in place during my tenure to support and engage alumni.

I want the Office of Institutional Advancement to be one of the very best of its kind; the importance of alumni cannot be underestimated, and I am committed to investing resources to ensure that the role of Institutional Advancement is one of service to alumni. Our goal is to strengthen alumni ties, create new pathways for engagement and cultivate strong, lifelong relationships between Jefferson and alumni from all our colleges.

We have the right ingredients for success. Our legacy spanning nearly two centuries, dedicated people of Jefferson — our trustees, our faculty and staff, our alumni — and our innovative, entrepreneurial approach to health care form the foundation we need for our upcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign.

I look forward to meeting you and I encourage you to email me your thoughts, ideas and comments about setting the strategic direction for Jefferson’s alumni association. Please feel free to reach out to me at or 215-503-5138. For routine matters related to alumni relations, please contact Cristina Geso, associate vice president, alumni relations, at or 215-955-8164.


Elizabeth Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer

More from the EVP

Elizabeth traveled to Haiti with the Jefferson Head and Neck Surgery "CHANCE" team. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and lacks many healthcare basics that can be taken for granted. For three years, the CHANCE team has been traveling there to provide complex head and neck care and education, and hope to the people of Haiti. Learn more about the CHANCE initiative.

View blog »

As a student (and a fan) of Jefferson’s history, I’m fascinated by the formative years of the College. Ours was a completely different approach to establishing a medical school—an exercise in vision, inventiveness, untiring industry and unwavering optimism. Our resourceful founder, Dr. George McClellan, and his determined colleagues were running the 19th-century version of a start-up.

The odds were stacked against them. They scrambled to find faculty. There were lawsuits, deft maneuvers and legislative machinations. An in-town competitor was angling to squash the upstart competitor. There were money issues too. Jefferson needed more than gumption. What especially intrigues me is the effort to raise capital.

As a new institution, Jefferson had no endowment, no alumni, no grateful patients, no base of support. In his 1939 book of Jefferson historical figures, alumnus Tom Bentley Throckmorton, MD 1909, wrote: “Youth and ambition cannot succeed without financial backing. Hence in 1827 the momentous question of how to acquire financial aid, like Banquo’s ghost, arose to haunt and plague the faculty.”

Smart philanthropy saved the day.

In nonprofit parlance, a legacy or “planned” gift is simply one that is more creative than an outright contribution of cash. A bequest or a gift of real estate, appreciated securities, a charitable gift annuity: these are a few examples of legacy gifts. Just such a gift, an opportunity creatively seized and generously turned, saved the young Jefferson Medical College.

One of Jefferson’s first trustees, the Rev. Dr. Ezra Styles Ely, made what is, even by today’s standards, an out-of-the-box gift. He offered to buy a lot on 10th and Sansom streets and finance construction of a new home for the College. In exchange, Ely would receive token rent of $1,000 a year for five years. He would eventually turn over to the College even the rent he collected. Throckmorton called the gift a “beam of light from the morning star.”

Over the years, legacy gifts have had a big impact on Jefferson, in one case literally “titanic.” Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza, who survived the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic, bequeathed her family fortune of $5.5 million to Jefferson to establish the Cardeza Foundation for blood research. In 1929, grateful patient Samuel Parsons Scott, Esq., in “acknowledgement of the inestimable service rendered by one of the Professors,” bequeathed about $3 million to establish what is now Scott Memorial Library. More recently, a $10 million bequest from the estate of Robert D. Rector, MD ’48, and his wife, Dorothy, enabled the creation of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center.

Legacy gifts are all about celebrating your success story by passing it on to benefit others through healing, research and teaching, which are Jefferson’s success story. That story reaches all the way back to Dr. McClellan’s dream and Dr. Ely’s gift that kept it alive to see another day. Your achievements and good fortune don’t have to remain in the past. They can be a beam of light from the morning star that shines tomorrow and tomorrow and far into the future.

Jefferson would not be what it is today without the legacy giving that vanquishes Banquo’s ghost. Making a legacy gift is easier than you think and always rewarding and meaningful. So, what is it you want to accomplish for an infinity of tomorrows? Who do you want to help? I encourage you to reach out to me and find out how we can do it together.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

Why Tuesday?

Because it follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the start of holiday shopping that leads to the season of giving to family and friends.

Why Giving?

Because philanthropy makes a difference, and giving to those in need never goes out of season. Tuesday, November 29, is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide, grassroots day of giving powered by social media and generosity. The fundraising success of Giving Tuesday has been building every year since 2012. Last year on Jefferson Giving Tuesday, more than 700 people celebrated the power of philanthropy with us by making a gift to Jefferson.

Jefferson is leading the healthcare revolution with the nation’s only four-pillar model (clinical, academic, innovation and philanthropy pillars) for an academic medical center. Philanthropic investments help support the other three pillars, providing resources that enable Jefferson to care for patients, train healthcare professionals, and carry out research and innovation that translate into better treatments and cures. That’s why we say Jefferson is made possible by you.

In the run-up to Jefferson Giving Tuesday, you will be hearing more about philanthropy at Jefferson and how you can be a part of it. On November 29, there will be stations across campus where you can grab a free coffee, make your gift and have your picture taken with Thomas Jefferson. You can also give online from anywhere in the world at We hope you’ll share your love of Jefferson on social media using #ILoveJefferson when you make a gift between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29.

Why Giving?

Because Giving Tuesday is your chance to give back and be a difference-maker at your alma mater — and deepen your connection to Jefferson.

Why Tuesday?

Because when it comes to philanthropy, just one day can make a big difference.

Why Jefferson?

Because you can help save a life, launch a health career, make a discovery or ease the burden of pain. Philanthropy makes it all possible, and giving makes you a part of all we do here at Jefferson.

Much has changed since the Jefferson College of Nursing opened its doors in 1891, welcoming a mere 13 students in its inaugural class. But much has stayed the same. As we celebrate JCN’s 125th anniversary, today’s Jefferson Nursing leaders remain just as committed to elevating nursing education to new heights as those who founded the “Jefferson Hospital Training School for Nurses” so many years ago.

This enduring commitment shines through in many ways, from JCN’s recent designation as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence to our pending expansion to the Abington-Dixon campus in Willow Grove to the unveiling of the brand-new baccalaureate curriculum. Jefferson now has nearly 1,000 nursing students spread among 20 different programs that are producing the finest caregivers in the world.

If you are a Jefferson Nursing graduate, you are part of our distinguished 125-year history, and I invite you to help us commemorate this milestone. One of the ways you can participate is by joining us for our 125th Anniversary Alumni Gala on Saturday, November 5, on Jefferson’s campus. The event will recognize our nursing achievements decade by decade while giving alumni the chance to remember, reconnect and relive their Jefferson experiences. To learn more, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 215-955-7750 or

Even if you are unable to make it to Philadelphia for the gala, we would love for you to share your personal and professional story through our ongoing oral history project, through which we are capturing the breadth of expertise our nursing graduates have developed and the wide variety of paths they have taken. To access oral histories that have already been submitted, visit Then, to submit your own, contact Kelsey Duinkerken at 215-503-3123 or

And last—but certainly not least—I hope you will consider supporting the Jefferson College of Nursing 125th Anniversary of Nursing Education Scholarship Fund. Alumni contributions of any size will collectively change the lives of aspiring nurses, making it possible for them to enroll at Jefferson and receive the same world-class education you did. And better yet, a special matching opportunity will make your gift go even further. Contributions to the Anniversary Fund will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your impact, until we reach $125,000 in donations for a total scholarship of $250,000. This opportunity makes now the right time to give. To do so, please contact Amanda Craig at 215-955-9291 or

There are countless reasons I am proud to be a member of the Jefferson community—and our extraordinary history of nursing leadership stands out among them. Thank you for being a part of the Jefferson College of Nursing’s distinct legacy and for helping us celebrate 125 years of nursing excellence.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

In his profile, new SKMC Alumni Association President Matt Keller, MD ’05, notes insightfully that Jefferson graduates view themselves as more than just people who went to Jefferson; they identify as “Jeffersonians,” inside and out. This way of branding oneself begins the day a new student participates in the White Coat Ceremony—but what does it mean to be a Jeffersonian once you move that tassel at commencement?

Like much of your student experience on campus, your experience as an alumnus is up to you. Becoming involved in Jefferson alumni life is just as rewarding as participating in student activities was for you however many years ago. There are countless ways to stay connected—by attending Alumni Weekend and other special events, by mentoring aspiring physicians, by investing in programs and initiatives that are meaningful to you.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many steadfast Jeffersonians. One recent encounter that stands out was with Harvey Oshrin, MD ’60. Dr. Oshrin and I met for dinner near his home in Vista, California, and he told me about his time at Jefferson and his fascinating career in clinical psychiatry, which has involved evaluating criminal defendants in superior court and recommending psychiatric treatment for prison inmates (at age 81, he continues to work within the legal system today).

Beyond his intriguing practice, something about Dr. Oshrin struck me—his commitment both to Jefferson and to philanthropy. As a young resident in California, Dr. Oshrin met fellow Jeffersonian Jack McMullin, MD ’34, who became his mentor. Dr. McMullin spoke often of the outstanding learning experience Jefferson provided. “He encouraged me to give a gift, of any amount, every year to help ensure that future generations would benefit from same the distinctive education he and I received. It’s been roughly 60 years since I made my first donation, and I’ve been giving consecutively ever since,” recalled Dr. Oshrin, who ultimately enhanced his giving by making Jefferson the beneficiary of his IRA—a planned gift that will provide scholarship support specifically for  students from California who attend SKMC.

Dr. Oshrin’s varied investments in Jefferson over nearly six decades have made an impact in the past, are making an impact in the present and will make an impact well into the future. He gives because he finds himself “wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t go to Jefferson, and I draw a complete blank. Having gone to Jefferson and being a physician—this is my life.”

What makes you a Jeffersonian? I welcome you to share your stories—why you give, and what programs and activities inspire you the most. Please tell us how you remain connected to the university by emailing Maybe one day your story will be featured in the Bulletin!

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

The 1824 charter for our medical college states that “10 indigent young men of talents … shall be annually received into the medical school — receive its instructions and be entitled to its honours without any charge.” In those days, 10 students amounted to nearly half the class, if not more. Later, the 1832 Annual Announcement of Lectures by the Trustees and Professors continued to express concern about the importance of financial aid. Some students, it noted, “having commenced the study of medicine, are, from the misfortunes of their families and their restricted pecuniary means, unable to purchase the necessary tickets to enable them to acquire a thorough knowledge of their profession and to graduate.” The students were called “gratuitous students,” those who received a Jefferson education — “a thorough knowledge of their profession” — through the graciousness and generosity of others.

From its founding, our medical college has recognized the need for financial assistance to students “of talents.” That philanthropic tradition has carried on to this day, especially through the gift of endowed scholarships.

The importance of scholarships cannot be overstated — for Jefferson, for our students and for the well-being of our society. Our medical college is one of the oldest in the nation, with a long and distinguished legacy of educating pioneers in patient care and pathbreakers in biomedical research. Scholarships provide much-needed resources to students who aspire to be healers and enable Jefferson to prepare future generations of physicians unencumbered by the burden of excessive debt, hence free to pursue their dreams. They also help us attract bright, diverse and engaged students who enrich the educational experience for their classmates.

Alumni of Sidney Kimmel Medical College have long given back by endowing scholarships so that new generations can benefit, as they did, from a Jefferson education. Right now is the perfect opportunity to double the impact of your generosity and broaden the reach of your vision. The Kimmel Matching Program for Endowed Scholarships will match, dollar-for-dollar, pledges of $100,000 or more to establish a new endowed scholarship fund. This special match is available until June 30, 2016, or until the pool of matching funds is depleted.

Go ahead: seize the moment; change a life; open a door. The young doctor who walks through just might discover an amazing cure or transform the future of healthcare or simply be a terrific physician “of talents.” And who knows how much suffering you will ease or how many lives you will save just by making a scholarship gift — and by doing so, helping to make a Jefferson physician.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

When we started to think about creating an Alumni Center here at Jefferson, we put together a document outlining its purpose. The paper states, “The proposed Alumni Center will serve three basic functions: to provide a home for alumni visiting campus, to provide a space for the five alumni association boards to meet and to house the Alumni Relations offices.”

It’s a rather dry and practical statement of purpose—correct as far as it goes—but the word “home” jumped out at me and tugged a little at my heart. The new Alumni Center we are planning will be more than a meeting space and an office space: it’s a home. It’s friends and family. It’s memories. It’s triumphs and setbacks and lessons learned. It’s where you got your start in life. It’s where you’re always welcomed back, no matter how far away you go or for how long.

The new space Jefferson has set aside for our 33,000-plus living alumni from all six colleges comprises 5,000 square feet on the second floor of Alumni Hall. We already have a floor plan. The Alumni Center will include a reception area, large conference room, a library lounge, a business center, displays of Jefferson archival materials like photos and yearbooks and, of course, Alumni Relations offices. It will be a friendly and versatile environment where alumni can gather for catching up, reminiscing about their professors, learning about the new Jefferson, networking with colleagues, mentoring students, conducting official alumni business, attending on-campus alumni events and accessing alumni services. The Alumni Center will be completely dedicated to serving our alumni. In other words, it will be, as our plan put it, your campus home.

The new Alumni Center is all about our Jefferson family. That’s why Jefferson is investing in more resources, more programming and more services for alumni. Even though you’ve graduated, even though you’ve gone off to make a life and built a career, you’re still one of us—and we depend on you. Alumni are not just our past: you’re our future. We love to hear your stories, and we need to hear your voice. Your involvement and passion help Jefferson to govern better and plan for a brighter future, and the close connection helps you to tell better Jefferson stories to those who don’t know us.

There are many ways alumni can give back by giving forward to secure a better Jefferson. We welcome your comments and queries at

Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, is more than right when she says, “There’s no place like home.” Find out for yourself. I hope you come and visit soon.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

At Jefferson, we are all about the students — present and past: current students and alumni. And just as you’ve kept growing and changing since your graduation, so has your alma mater.

When he first arrived at Jefferson, Dr. Klasko told us that no one could say what the future of health care would look like, but he promised that in five years, Jefferson would not look like it did then. He has been making good on that promise ever since.

Jefferson has a brilliant 190-year history. Medical firsts are part of our DNA. But as great as we are — as great as we’ve been — what we know is that if we keep doing everything the same way, our future isn’t going to be as bright as our past.

Dr. Klasko never tires of pointing out that the “old math” that once supported academic medical centers — NIH funding, clinical reimbursements and tuition — no longer adds up. To the traditional pillars that have long upheld these enterprises — the Academic Pillar of teaching and research, and the Clinical Pillar of patient care — Jefferson has added two more pillars: Innovation and Philanthropy. Going forward, the “new math” will be computed using this unique four-pillar model. Jefferson will seize opportunities, create new ideas and invest in directions that fundamentally transform health care. We are the kind of place that people want to invest in, not because of our distinguished history, but because of our vision and optimism and energy, which enable us to continue making history.

Our alumni are an indispensable part of that equation, and we want to get to know you better and help you to know us. Jefferson’s Office of Institutional Advancement has recruited a new Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Cristina Geso, who has more than 27 years of experience creating and leading alumni programs. She is building on Jefferson’s existing programs to strengthen alumni ties, create new pathways for engagement and cultivate strong, lifelong relationships between Jefferson and alumni from all of our schools.

Cristina is working this year to increase by 75 percent the number of alumni events, here on campus and across the country. Expanded offerings will include lifelong-learning and career-development events as well as cultural and social events. Her team is also creating new opportunities for alumni to serve as Jefferson speakers, panelists and mentors as well as leaders on alumni association boards and committees.

Our alumni have many gifts to give; we see it every day in the successful careers you build, in your deep commitment to health science and compassionate care and above all, in the passion and gratitude you show in countless ways for your alma mater. I invite you to send me an email ( or give me a call (215-503-5138). Tell me how Jefferson can reach out to more alumni or how you’d like to be involved. Get in touch with Cristina ( or 215-955-8164) and let her know if you’d like to host an alumni event, what alumni relations programs and services you’d like to see or how you might serve Jefferson. Or come visit our campus in Philly for an alumni event or anytime.

We would love to hear from you. You are not just a part of Jefferson’s past; you are a part of our future. 


Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

There’s a wonderfully evocative image on the cover of this issue of the Review: a goldfish leaping out of a little fishbowl and into a bigger one. It represents Jefferson University graduates leaving the more secure world of their alma mater and plunging into the waters of professional practice and American healthcare. The picture illustrates our feature story about alumni pathbreakers and entrepreneurs, graduates who are shaking up old models of healthcare careers, finding new solutions to new problems—and to old ones—and transforming the future of healthcare.

Our $2 trillion industry is undergoing enormous change. Jefferson is not just running to keep up with change: we’re leading the transformation. We’re out in front of it, reimagining what will be obvious to everyone in 10 years – and doing it now.

Our new Institute of Emerging Health Professions is already identifying what kind of education will be needed for rising health professions. Drawing on the resources of Jefferson’s colleges, the Institute will train professionals to carry out the tasks and roles an evolving healthcare system requires. It’s a window as well as a doorway onto the future of healthcare.

At Jefferson, we say “health is all we do” – and these days, healthcare gets “done” by interdisciplinary, inter-professional teams. Jefferson is one of the leaders in bringing together health-science disciplines and training professionals in teams that provide not only great care but, with our emphasis on listening and communication, also great caring. As an academic medical center, we drive new ideas through research and translate them into products, strategies and ventures that help patients and consumers. The Jefferson Accelerator Zone provides facilities and programming where our students and scientists team up with investors, big pharma and other partners to create and launch ventures in bio tech, medical technology, health IT and more. We’re also delivering the right level of Jefferson care anytime and anywhere to anyone who needs it through JeffConnect, our pioneering telehealth initiative.

Jefferson has been pushing boundaries, breaking paradigms and inventing better ways of training doctors and healing patients since 1824. Medical firsts are in our DNA. Our rich history of thought leadership, clinical innovation and medical discovery positions Jefferson as a leader in healthcare and health-professions education today and a pioneer of breakthroughs tomorrow. Our graduates take this DNA with them when they make the leap from Jefferson and then leap again into some new venture or innovative direction in healthcare.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of healthcare, and it’s thrilling to be involved with your alma mater, innovating and leading the way to the future of healthcare. As Jefferson alumni, you are that future, and we need you with us reimagining what can be and building a healthier tomorrow.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once remarked, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Over 12 years, Coach Wooden led his team to a remarkable 10 NCAA national championships—seven of them consecutive. No other coach has won the tournament more than twice in a row. 

His point, in a sense, is that there’s no such thing as “little.” A championship team is built with practice. An avalanche starts with a trickle of sliding snow. A devastating illness cascades from a defective gene, and a cure for millions comes from one discovery. 

In philanthropy, I see the Wooden principle all the time: How a so-called “small gift,” a gesture of thanks for a doctor’s care, a nurse’s kindness, a receptionist’s special attention, becomes part of a torrent of gratitude. Jefferson CEO and President, Dr. Stephen Klasko, never tires of talking about the “new math” for healthcare, whose calculus proves the vital importance of philanthropy for Jefferson’s future and the future of us all. 

Every gift has an impact and matters, because it will touch someone’s life. A $50 donation could buy a wig for an oncology patient, offering some peace of mind during an unimaginably difficult time. A monthly gift of $20 – or about the cost of a latte a week – would provide basics like shoes or walkers to financially disadvantaged patients. A gift of $2,500 would purchase a basic research kit that our scientists use to extract and purify things like DNA, RNA, proteins and other cell components. 

Every gift matters

Your support makes big things happen for others. Gifts of all sizes builds into an avalanche of generosity that can sweep away diseases, improve patient care, train new healthcare workers, make communities healthier. 

You make it all possible, for which we are so grateful.

Elizabeth Dale, EdD 
Executive Vice President

Working at Jefferson, you often see people doing impossible things. Like the neurosurgeons who operated on Anne Wilms, delicately removing a tumor from her brain using a procedure that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Or the team of physicians and IT wizards who use technology to bring Jefferson, an achievement that’s incredible—and salutary—right now. 

But not all Jefferson heroes wear scrubs and not all incredible feats involve years of technical training and amazing skill. Many times, the most life-changing difference is made by a grateful patient who just wants to give something back as a way of saying thank you. 

When patients have been cared for or cured at Jefferson, they often ask what they can do to show gratitude or help others. Clinical studies—dozens of them—show that expressions of gratitude such as philanthropy are linked to increased ability to cope with stress, stronger immune function, quicker recovery from illness, lower blood pressure, greater joy and optimism, and increased longevity. Even more remarkable, often unknown to our benefactors, is the well-being that philanthropy can bring to others who are suffering. 

Simply put, generosity heals, and it heals in so many ways. There’s no better way to say thanks than to make a gift to Jefferson. It’s a wonderful way to give back while helping us to help others. For Bob Halinski, giving back was how he seized the initiative for healing. For cancer patient Jessica Quintin, philanthropy helped her fight back against something that was taking over her life. Watch their stories about why generosity matters and how it can change our lives and our future.

Elizabeth Dale, EdD 
Executive Vice President


Jefferson Office of
Institutional Advancement

125 S. 9th Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone:  215-955-1635

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