McClure Donates $5 Million to Launch Center on Aging at UVM
Release Date: 07-10-2008
A $5 million gift from Burlington philanthropist Lois Howe McClure, along with $100,000 in funding from the State of Vermont, will support a new Center on Aging at the University of Vermont. UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel and Vermont Governor Jim Douglas joined McClure in announcing the new Center July 10. Its mission will be to coordinate and support collaborative education, policy-making activities, and research in the gerontology and geriatrics arena. The Center on Aging gift is the largest single gift ever donated by the McClure family.
"This is a truly remarkable event for the University, the state and its citizens, and we are tremendously grateful for the support of this extraordinary Vermonter, Lois McClure, and for her ongoing vision and inspiration," said Fogel. "This gift presents an unprecedented opportunity for interdisciplinary work across our University, with our collaborators at the state level and with our community partners throughout Vermont. Together, we will lay a foundation for a Center that will serve as a national model of excellence and a tribute to the passion of Lois McClure."
Currently, Vermont has the second oldest median age in the country at 40.7 years and by 2030, it is projected that 1 in 4 Vermonters will be over the age of 65. For the last several years, McClure has been part of a statewide working group convened by UVM to identify, assess and recommend strategies for addressing needs, such as financial security and affordable healthcare, of Vermont's aging population.
"Aging is one of the greatest issues facing Vermont and we have many resources in our state, including our wonderful University, which is rightfully tackling the issue head on," said McClure. "A Center on Aging at the University of Vermont is the best way to achieve meaningful results as we work to meet the needs of an increasingly older society. I am pleased to make a gift to begin this vital effort."
UVM College of Medicine faculty researcher and physician William Pendlebury, M.D., will serve as the first director of the Center on Aging. The Center will focus on three strategic areas: an education core, which will support and promote geriatric and gerontology education both on campus and in communities throughout the state; a social science and policy core, which will drive research to aid major state policy decisions that impact the aging population; and a research core, which will provide an infrastructure that will facilitate collaboration among investigators involved in aging-related research.
"One of the first items on our agenda is to reach out to agencies throughout Vermont and get them on board as Center on Aging collaborators," said Pendlebury. "We also have a number of educational initiatives planned, including aging symposia in several communities around the state, a gerontology certificate program at UVM, and a Gerontology 101 course for adult learners."
The Center on Aging gift brings the McClure family's lifetime giving to UVM to more than $8 million. Lois McClure and her late husband "Mac", long-time members of the Burlington-area community, have supported many important regional institutions, including the McClure Multigenerational Center and the Visiting Nurse Association.