University of Vermont

$4.5 Million Gift from Surgery Faculty to Fund Professorships

Dean Rick Morin and faculty members of the Department of Surgery
Dean Rick Morin, M.D., and Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery Marion Couch, M.D., are joined by Fletcher Allen Health Care President and CEO John Brumsted, M.D., and members of the Department of Surgery faculty at the Green and Gold Professorship announcement at UVM's Davis Center.

A $4.5 million gift from the surgical faculty at the UVM College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care will fund 14 Green & Gold Professorships in the Department of Surgery and add $1 million to the recently established Frank P. Ittleman Professorship in Cardiothoracic Surgery established by a grateful patient earlier this year.

At an announcement ceremony held as part of the UVM Foundation Board of Directors meeting on campus today, Marion Couch M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor and interim chair of the Department of Surgery, presented the gift to UVM President Tom Sullivan, who accepted on behalf of the university and the UVM Foundation. UVM College of Medicine Dean Frederick Morin, MD and Fletcher Allen Health Care President and CEO John Brumsted, MD were also at the ceremony.

“The establishment of these professorships represents our commitment to honoring the past, the present, and our future,” Couch said. “They will give our amazing faculty, who have been so shaped by those before them, more time to spend with students and residents — the future of medicine — and they will help us recruit even more amazing faculty and surgeons.

The funding was made possible by monies set aside by surgical faculty members over the years, and is intended to attract and retain outstanding faculty members. The surgery faculty also hope their commitment will contribute to a growing culture of philanthropy in the department by providing a special incentive for others to give. The faculty have not attached names to the Green and Gold professorships they are establishing, and instead will leave the naming opportunity available to other donors who make contributions that elevate the Green and Gold professorship to a full professorship. A full professorship at UVM, named after the donor, would usually require a $1 million donation. These Green & Gold Professorships, which require a minimum contribution of $250,000, make it possible for a donor to establish a named endowed faculty position with a contribution of $750,000, closing the gap between the Green & Gold and a full professorship.

The goal for the Ittleman Professorship, established with a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor, is to bring it to the required $3 million endowment level needed to elevate it to the status of a full chair. The surgical faculty’s $1 million gift brings the Ittleman endowment to within $600,000 of achieving its goal.

“This support shows the world not only that every aspect of surgical medicine at UVM and Fletcher Allen Health Care is important and supported, but also that its very own faculty have such a belief in their work and the mission of the institution that they are willing to fund it in a most meaningful, selfless, and powerful way,” said Sullivan. “Attracting the most talented faculty to campus is paramount in our pursuit of remaining among the nation’s premier small teaching and research institutions. Gifts such as this from an entire faculty are rare, so today’s announcement is truly historic.”