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The Difference Alumni Make

Alumni Center

As we approach the end of our first year as a new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), like many here I have been reflecting deeply on our history and our future—and especially about our alumni and the important roles they play in the Jefferson family.

This is a time of tremendous transformation in our institution and for our students, patients, and families, but Jefferson has always been defined by change. Through it all, for generations, our alumni have remained steadfast in their dedication to Jefferson, passionate in their interest, and generous with their support. As I looked through the memory books at Alumni Weekend, and met many Jeffersonians who were excited to be back on campus, alumni pride in the education they received shone through their words, stories, and smiles. The strength of their connection to the place that made them the doctors and people they are today—and to each other—also comes across clearly in another, more tangible way—how they give back to Jefferson and pay it forward to those just starting their own careers.

This past year showed extraordinary generosity from our alumni family, with gifts large and small that have helped fund scholarships, professorships, lectureships, and programs. Their impact was multiplied through the Kimmel Matching Program created by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, which has matched gifts from alumni to create 20 endowed scholarships and an endowed professorship since it was established in 2014. As just one example of the profound commitment of our alumni, Marie Pinizzotto, MD ’88, and Carol Ammon, BSN ’17, MBA, made a leadership gift to help launch our campaign for the new Alumni Center, as well as support an Alumni Center Scholarship. This scholarship will benefit generations of Jefferson students, and the Center will be a place to celebrate everything it means to be a Jefferson graduate and serve as a welcoming home for alumni to return to year-round.

Alumni Weekend alone brought in an astounding $3.4 million, with a large portion of that coming from the Class of 1967 as part of its 50th Reunion Class Gift Campaign fundraiser, which had the goal of at least 50 percent participation. They far surpassed their $50,000 target with a total of more than $2.1 million—which included a planned gift from Reunion Class Gift Chair Elliot Rayfield in support of the Elliot J. Rayfield, MD ’67 Scholarship, and a generous gift from Anthony Chiurco and his wife, Kim Jingoli Chiurco, to establish the Anthony Alfred Chiurco, MD Professorship in Neurosurgery at Jefferson.

When I look back on the last year, I see that Jefferson has been pushing boundaries, crossing lines, and blazing trails to create a bold new future for medicine, discovery, and higher education. All our successes, and future accomplishments, can be traced to a groundswell of support from our compassionate, committed alumni and other benefactors—a growing number of visionaries who trust Jefferson to deliver on our promise to improve lives.

No matter how much things change, I know we always can count on our alumni family to offer their insights and ideas, and both give and inspire giving that makes Jefferson a university to be proud of. Their unfailing generosity and belief in our mission empowers Jefferson to continue growing and evolving, and in turn change people’s lives—and the world—for the better.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD, MPA
Executive Vice President and
Chief Advancement Officer