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Simon School Receives Nearly $7 Million For Campaign Initiatives

Simon School Receives Nearly $7 Million For Campaign InitiativesSimon School Receives Nearly $7 Million For Campaign InitiativesSimon Business School

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Gifts Enable Scholarship and Faculty Support, Venture Capital Fund, NYC Presence

Rochester, N.Y.—July 11, 2012—The Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester is receiving four major gifts totaling nearly $7 million in support of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. These gifts will advance strategic initiatives in the areas of scholarship and faculty support, curricular enhancement, and increasing the School’s presence in New York City.

                Ronald H. Fielding ’73 (MA), ’76S (MBA) has pledged $5 million in scholarship support to the Simon School. An active alumnus and generous benefactor, Fielding spent more than 25 years in the municipal bond industry. He retired from OppenheimerFunds Inc. in 2009, where he served as senior vice president and portfolio manager overseeing a municipal bond portfolio in excess of $30 billion. Fielding, a longtime member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council, provides guidance and leadership in strategic initiatives to the Dean and senior administrators at Simon, and he is a frequent guest lecturer to students about his experience in the investment markets. “I am happy to share the fruits of my business success with the Simon School, which helped me to bridge economic theory with business realities, giving me the ideal preparation to start and succeed at my own business,” Fielding said.

                Daniel G. Lazarek ’91S (MBA), CFO, COO and co-owner of Access Insurance Holdings Inc., an Atlanta, GA-based insurance company, has made a $1 million commitment to support the recently established student-run Simon School Venture Capital (VC) Fund. Access has five times been recognized on the Inc. magazine 500/5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the US. Previously, Lazarek spent several years in the telecommunications industry with senior-level positions at Worldport Communications, Citizens Communications, and Frontier Communications. He is a member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council and also provides strategic guidance and capital to early stage companies. “I am proud to give back and help others think about what it takes to succeed in their own businesses and to invest in themselves and their ideas,” Lazarek said. “My gift to ‘jump start’ and establish the Simon School Venture Capital Fund will provide a vehicle with guidance from experienced and successful entrepreneurs to give Simon students, alums, and all associated an ability for ‘skin in the game’ to guide this pipeline of entrepreneurial pursuits.”

            Joseph W. Abrams ’74S (MBA) and Patricia Abrams are pledging $1 million to the Simon School and the University of Rochester Medical Center. The Simon School will receive $750,000 to establish the Joseph and Patricia Abrams Endowed Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The fund will provide endowed support for either a term professorship or staff/administrative position promoting entrepreneurship or innovation at the Simon School.  The endowment could also support a set of staff positions or a set of endowed junior faculty positions that similarly promote entrepreneurship at Simon. The Abrams are also pledging $250,000 to support the Abrams Family Fund for Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  Joseph Abrams is an active alumnus and member of the Simon School’s Executive Advisory Committee and National Council, and serves as co-chair of the University’s San Francisco Bay regional campaign. “I am pleased to be able to make this additional commitment to the Simon School and the University,” Abrams said. “Investing in the education of our future leaders is very important, and I hope this gift, in some small way, helps the faculty, administration, students, and alumni continue to flourish.”

                James S. Gleason ’68S (MBA), has committed $150,000 to provide scholarships and faculty support. Gleason is chairman of the board of Gleason Corporation and chairman of the Gleason Foundation. A graduate of the Simon School’s first Executive Development (now Executive MBA) Program class, he is a Life Trustee of the University of Rochester and a longtime member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee. His past leadership gifts to Simon have enabled the construction of James S. Gleason Hall in 2001, providing more than 38,000 square feet of additional space for the School including five classrooms, 15 study rooms, and a significantly expanded Career Management Center, including eight dedicated interview rooms.

                “We are very grateful to Ron Fielding, Dan Lazarek, Joe and Pat Abrams, and Jim Gleason for their generosity. Their gifts and commitments have helped Simon surpass $55 million raised toward its goal of $85 million as part of the University’s Meliora Challenge,” says Dean Mark Zupan. “Their support will help us to enhance our programs, attract and retain members of our renowned faculty, and make a Simon education possible for more students. Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with the best possible management education in the years to come.”


Simon offers a rigorously quantitative, economics-based approach to decision-making in one of the most diverse student communities of any business school in America. Our degree programs inspire a new level of clarity: about how analytical frameworks drive success in business; about what it takes to collaborate and manage in the contemporary, global workplace; and about professional growth and goals.


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