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Jameson Gave Final Presentation to Alumni

Following an announcement that he would be leaving Northwestern for the top medical leadership role at the University of Pennsylvania in July 2011, Dean J. Larry Jameson presented his final update to the medical school’s National Alumni Association Board in October. In addition, Dr. Bruce Scharschmidt reported on the Nathan Smith Davis Club, a group that recognizes alumni giving at the medical school.

Most Diverse Class

The Class of 2014 is the most diverse group to date, with nearly 19 percent underrepresented minorities. The 170 matriculants come from 14 different countries and have the ability to speak 24 languages. We could fill our medical school with students who have MCAT scores that are absolutely off the charts, but we take the campus interviews seriously and seek individuals who are well rounded and independent thinkers with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Our newest students have a range of interests that complement and enhance our community.

Leadership/Faculty Recruits

A large part of the recruiting at Northwestern University is at the medical school and I think we’re bringing in terrific leaders from inside and outside the organization. Among those most recently hired or promoted — Doug Vaughan, MD, Department of Medicine chair; Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, preventive medicine chair; Jane Holl, MD, MPH, director of the Institute for Healthcare Studies; and Nick Volpe, MD, ophthalmology chair.

Grant Funding

In 2010, Feinberg received $346 million of federal funding for research, up 17 percent from 2009. This rapid growth was due to nearly $50 million in ARRA stimulus funding from NIH. Our overall research productivity has been steadily increasing by an over 10 percent compounded annual growth rate. In FY10, we received $419 of funding per square foot of research space and over $740,000 per faculty member.

Development Efforts

The Office of Development & Alumni Relations raised more than $108 million in new gifts and commitments and more than $109 million in cash in fiscal year 2010. Medical school alumni increased their cash giving by 67 percent compared to 2009. It was a very good year in a tough environment. Commitments were made for nine new scholarships and six professorships in 2010.

New Role at Penn

So I have been thinking about how Feinberg is positioned to choose a successor in the dean’s office. I believe anyone would want to join Northwestern because of the quality of the students, faculty, and facilities. I will do all I can to help identify potential candidates.

If it’s so great, why am I leaving? I’ve been here almost 18 years, which is a long time. Penn, ranked Number Two, arguably offers the top medical leadership position – with one person running the medical school and the medical center. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; however, I have mixed feelings because I have lots of friends and colleagues here.

Nathan Smith Davis Club

Later in the meeting, Bruce Scharschmidt, MD, president of the Nathan Smith Davis Club, shared his goals of increasing participation and strengthening the sense of community with members. A survey was conducted to examine NSD visibility and perceptions.

“One of the issues is that the word “club’ is misleading – it is not an elite club,” explained Dr. Scharschmidt, “but rather a community of alumni engaged with the medical school. We also have an opportunity to market the NSD name to increase participation.”

To help alumni learn more about the Nathan Smith Davis Club and how they can participate, a number of new communication and recognition opportunities are being discussed. Work will continue in this area to disseminate information and encourage alumni support.

“Giving is motivated by people wanting to give back,” Scharschmidt said. “Most alumni want to be meaningfully involved with students – they want to put names and faces with scholarship recipients.”