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MUSC launches $300 million capital campaign

Joseph Greenwood and his mother

Angela Greenwood and her son, Joseph, sign a campaign banner as a show of their commitment to the Medical University’s $300 million capital campaign, “A Partnership of Promise.

With the broad stroke of a blue magic marker, 7-year-old Joseph Greenwood signed his name to a campaign banner and launched the public phase of the Medical University’s “Partnership of Promise” campaign, which aims to raise at least $300 million in private contributions by June 30, 2011.

Joseph and his mother, Angela, took part in the May 1 kickoff ceremony to demonstrate the difference of the Medical University is making in the lives of people throughout South Carolina and beyond. The Florence resident received a new heart at MUSC when he was just five years old, after a series of life-threatening complications.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is what ‘A Partnership of Promise’ is all about,” said kickoff speaker Bob Sywolski, former CEO of Blackbaud and member of the University’s capital campaign cabinet and MUSC Foundation Board. “It’s about building a Medical University that can bring hope to seemingly hopeless circumstances. And where does that hope come from? It begins with you.”

During the kickoff ceremony, University President Ray Greenberg announced that the campaign already had raised $207 million during its “quiet phase,” which began in July of 2004.

“I hesitate to share that, because it implies that we’re nearing the finish line,” Greenberg told the crowd of 200 guests. “The fact is, our most difficult work is still ahead of us.”

The Medical University launched the campaign to fund projects and initiatives that otherwise would not be feasible with its current funding mechanisms.  Although the University is a state-assisted institution, the state provides only 6.4 percent of its annual operating budget.

“You can’t create excellence on 6.4 percent, not the kind of excellence that we expect from a nationally renowned leading healthcare institution,” said Sywolski during the ceremony.

“We are here tonight because we all understand that,” he continued.  “We have a clear vision of what this institution can be and needs to be, for each of us, individually, our families and the generations to come. And ultimately, we understand that it’s going to take money – private money – to make that vision a reality.” 

Greenberg described the campaign’s $300 million goal as “ambitious but altogether achievable,” thanks to a growing awareness about the Medical University’s role in advancing the public’s health in South Carolina.

Kickoff speaker Beverly Seinsheimer said this awareness led her and her husband Wally to make their campaign gift, a million-dollar contribution that will build a preventive cardiology clinic in the University’s new hospital, Ashley River Tower. Mrs. Seinsheimer described their gift as “the culmination of our lifelong search to discover and indulge our ultimate passion."

“I believe this campaign brings to each of us a unique opportunity, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover your passion, and to create a legacy that can touch people from this point forward,” said Mrs. Seinsheimer. “It’s an incredible opportunity. And when you realize it’s there, I’d encourage you not to wait; seize it, and seize it now. We did, and we’ve never felt better.”

For more information about ways you can support the Partnership of Promise campaign, please call Leigh Manzi at (843) 792-4275 or toll-free at (800) 810-6872 (MUSC).

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