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VOLUME 12, NUMBER 12 • DECEMBER 15, 2000

David Rockefeller honored with named professorship:
Barry Coller will be first David Rockefeller Professor

David Rockefeller received a surprise "belated birthday gift" at the Rockefeller University Council event last Tues., Dec. 5.

Chairman of the Board Richard Fisher told the assembled guests that the board and many of David Rockefeller's friends thought that the university's Centennial would be the ideal time to celebrate David Rockefeller's more than half-century of service. As they considered how to pay tribute to him, they realized that "although David's father and several other family members are honored by endowed professorial chairs in their names, the university did not have a David Rockefeller Professorship."

Fisher then announced the creation of a new endowed professorship to mark Rockefeller's 85th birthday earlier this year. "David, this is our belated birthday gift to you," Fisher said, noting that Rockefeller's friends had contributed more than $5 million to endow the David Rockefeller Professorship.

"David is the personification of the enlightened philanthropist," said Fisher, "because in addition to financial support, he gives generously of his time, talents and energy. The university could not have asked for a stronger advocate throughout half its history."

The chair will be occupied by Barry S. Coller, who will soon join the university as vice president for medical affairs and physician-in-chief of the Hospital. Coller will set the course of the university's clinical investigations, a key area that is one of David Rockefeller's principal interests.

David Rockefeller has a longstanding commitment to the Hospital, and he recently made an exceptional gift toward the Hospital's revitalization. Upon learning about the new professorship in his honor, he said, "I am touched and thrilled by the announcement that Barry Coller will be the new David Rockefeller Professor."

David Rockefeller joined the board of trustees in 1940, served as its chairman from 1950 to 1975, and chaired the board's executive committee from 1975 to 1995. He is now honorary chairman and a life trustee, as well as honorary chairman of The Rockefeller University Council.

Fisher's announcement of the new David Rockefeller Professorship came just after he reported on the progress of the Centennial Campaign, aimed at preparing the university for the scientific demands of the new century. At the Nov. 8 Board of Trustees meeting, Fisher reported, the Board adopted a goal of $350 million.

The university is now two and one-half years into this six-year campaign, and the gifts and pledges to date total more than $205 million. More than half of this amount represents gifts from the university's trustees.

 

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