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Message from the Annual Fund Chair

In the summer of 2008 I agreed to serve as national chair of the Johnson School's Annual Fund, and I have just completed my first year in this role. I have always been a supporter of the Annual Fund and the flexibility it provides the Johnson School. The last thing on my mind when I accepted the position was that we would experience an unparalleled downdraft of U.S. and global economies.

In the midst of these trying times, I am proud and almost amazed to report that the Annual Fund had its second best year ever, both in terms of dollars raised and number of donors. I attribute this success to the tireless efforts of many volunteers who connected with alumni and asked if they would join with them in making an Annual Fund gift to the Johnson School. But more than anything else, our results speak to the generosity of our alumni, even in the midst of hard times.

I am very pleased to report that the Johnson School Annual Fund raised $1,841,298 from 2,358 donors, which was the second-best year ever for unrestricted gifts to the school. This support provides Dean Joe Thomas the ability to invest where the need is greatest.

Our success comes from the dedicated efforts of our alumni and student volunteers who gave of their time and financial resources to help the school in the following ways:

The Dean's Leadership Committee, consisting of 24 alumni, raised $230,000 from outreach to 134 alumni. The dean relies on this group of volunteers to ask fellow alumni to join them in supporting the school with a Tower Club-level gift of $5,000 or more.

Alumni celebrating their milestone reunions contributed $1,213,138, which surpassed the ambitious $1.063 million goal set in summer 2008 during the "good times." Twenty-seven enthusiastic volunteers assisted with the reunion campaigns; we are most grateful for the time and personal resources they dedicated to this effort.

The full-time MBA Class of 2009 had a successful class campaign that included gifts from a remarkable 95 percent of the class. This effort was led by Alok Kumar Verma, vice president for fundraising, who worked with a committee of outstanding class leaders. Despite a challenging job market, the class rallied and raised more than $14,308 from 304 classmates in honor of their graduation.

Raju Venkatraman chaired the EMBA Class of 2009 Campaign for the Executive MBA class (Palisades, NY), which raised $17,610 from 43 classmates, representing gifts from 63 percent of the class. Venkatraman was ably assisted by a terrific campaign committee.

The Cornell-Queen's Executive MBA graduating class gave a gift of $12,100, which came from 55 percent of the class in honor of their graduation. Special thanks to Julie Chase, representative to the Cornell contingent, and to her classmate Ian Major, who was the Queen's University representative.

With one year of on-the-job training under my belt, I look forward to even more success in the campaign for 2009-2010. I hope that you will join me in supporting the school next year and every year at whatever level suits your circumstances and inclination. Every gift matters!

Duncan D. Russell '71, MBA '73
National Annual Fund Chair