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Helping the University—and Each Other The Together for Rochester campaign responds to the University community’s desire to make a difference in the life of the institution and in the lives of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Within the first days of the pandemic, the effect of the disruption became clear: students would need immediate support for housing and food, as well as help for keeping on track with their academic and career plans; staff would need help with child care and household expenses; and faculty would need support to switch research to focus on COVID-19 and to move teaching activities to online venues.

Throughout the University, there were troubling shortages of supplies, including personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and gloves. There were also challenges to keep up with demands for community services administered by University programs.

And from the first days, University community members began asking, “How can I help?”

Tom Farrell ’88, ’90W (MS), senior vice president for University Advancement, says offers of help poured in from alumni, friends, faculty, community members, staff, parents, and students.

“Even though everyone’s personal lives were extremely disrupted, what was coming across to us was a deep interest in helping the University during a difficult and unprecedented time,” he says.

“The Together for Rochester one-year campaign is our response to the community’s desire to help and make a difference. What we wanted to do was combine the tremendous loyalty of our alumni and friends with the resources of the broader University community to create something positive.”

Farrell believes the University will come back stronger with greater engagement of alumni and friends throughout the world.

“Our focus is on finding jobs and internships for students and recent graduates, supporting faculty and staff in their important work, and making a real difference in the area of diversity and inclusion,” he says. “As well as seeking the resources to keep this very special institution moving forward.”

For more about the campaign and how to help, visit