Last Friday and Saturday, we celebrated our health system’s Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign with events for employees and a Discovery Ball for major donors – an event that raised more than $1.7 million in a single night! With a goal of raising $1 billion for UMHS, the Victors for Michigan campaign is the most ambitious fundraising endeavor in the history of our health system. Fortunately, we’ve never been better poised for success.
UMHS campaign chair Richard Rogel said it best: “Everyone here has a passion, a goal they want to achieve; a way to make the world a better place. It’s tremendous. We – you and I – have dreams, too. … This is ‘Collaboration University.’ I’ve seen it in action, and everybody can be a part of it. This campaign is just the beginning of what we can accomplish together.”
It’s true. We have leading investigators, clinicians and administrators, as well as the best and brightest students and staff. And we have dreams and goals. We want to cure every type of cancer. We want help patients and families impacted by Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other devastating diseases. We need to diagnose and treat autism, food allergies, kidney disease and so much more. Together, we can do all of this here at the University of Michigan.
Together, we achieve miracles big and small every day. We positively impact millions of lives every year. And we work to create the future of health care in all that we do. The Victors for Michigan campaign is possible because of you – the 26,000 faculty, staff, students, trainees and volunteers that comprise the University of Michigan Health System. In fact, this campaign is built on your work, your passion and your commitment.
So, when you turn on the television and find yourself shedding tears as patients and families share their stories of hope, or when you watch a campaign video and get goosebumps from hearing about a research team’s journey from discovery to clinical applications that save and improve lives, or when you drive along Medical Center Drive and find inspiration in the smiling faces of our victors on banners adorning the light posts, take pride in knowing that you are part of something truly exceptional. Medicine needs victors like you and the patients and families who put their trust in us. And medicine needs victors like the alumni, supporters and friends who invest in our talent and vision. They are critical partners on this journey.
As traditional revenue sources become more constrained, philanthropy is becoming increasingly important when it comes to funding our future. More and more, we rely on philanthropic investors to partner with us to accelerate breakthrough discovery, transform patient care, and recruit and retain extraordinary minds. We are privileged to have such a generous and invested community enabling our work. At the same time, we are tremendously fortunate to have a dedicated and talented development team leading the way.
Under the leadership of Bob Anderson, the UMHS development team has worked tirelessly to plan, develop and launch this transformative campaign, which is a significant component of the university-wide $4 billion campaign. We also appreciate our wonderful collaboration with Jerry May, the University’s vice president for development.
Author Napoleon Hill once said “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.”
To be a Victor for Michigan means refusing to stop fighting for answers and cures. It means refusing to believe that anything is impossible. And it means that the University of Michigan – the home of victors valiant – is where the future of health care can and will be created.
Thanks for everything you do each and every day in pursuit of victory. I am so proud of you – our many victors for medicine!