The University Record, June 11, 1997

Social Work reaches $12 million goal
ahead of deadline

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

The School of Social Work, already widely considered the top social work school in the United States, has successfully completed one of the largest fund-raising campaigns in the country for a school of its kind, says Dean Paula Allen-Meares.

The five-year effort, "Building Leadership for a Changing Society," has officially met its $12 million goal several months before the fall 1997 target date. In addition, since 1992, the school's endowment has grown from about $280,000 to $3.4 million.

According to Allen-Meares, the new funds will be used for student scholarships and programs, faculty research support and endowed chairs, and for costs associated with the new Social Work Building, which will open by the end of this year.

"We are extremely pleased with the generous gifts we have received," she says. "By achieving our goal, we now have funds to support our poverty, mental health and welfare reform programs. We also now have two endowed chairs, more support for students and a focus on children and families.

"We also would like to acknowledge our partnerships with other academic units on campus, especially business administration, LS&A, law and engineering."

Allen-Meares says that the School of Social Work's campaign, part of the campuswide "Campaign for Michigan," marks a turning point for the school.

"We have proven that social work is indeed something to invest in, to take part of, to help shape," she says. "Our donors all understand the value of what we are trying to do. To these donors, and to the many others who played a role, we offer our heartfelt thanks."

More than three dozen donors gave gifts of at least $25,000, with four exceeding $1 million. The largest gifts were given by:

· The Annie E. Casey Foundation, $2.3 million, for research on urban poverty.

· Ford Foundation, $1.9 million, for research on poverty and racial inequalities in employment and housing in Detroit.

· Ann Lurie, $1.5 million, for an endowed chair in children and families, and to train social workers in the field of child abuse and neglect.

· Skillman Foundation, $1.1 million, for research on children and families and for a project on cost-effective human services in Michigan.

· Civitas Initiative, $850,000, for scholarships in the area of child abuse and neglect.

· McGregor Fund, $450,000, for the commons area in the new Social Work Building and for Comnet, an Internet resource for non-profit organizations maintained by the School of Social Work.

· Estate of Clarice C. Jones, $409,000, for the Eleanor Cranefield Endowed Fund, which will be used for student scholarships.