Why I Give: Stephen Batter ’92M (MD)

Why I Give: Stephen Batter ’92M (MD)

In honor of 30th Reunion, School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumnus establishes endowment to support education and community.

Stephen Batter '92M (MD) and Laurieann Nessralla, MDStephen Batter ’92M (MD) and Laurieann Nessralla, MD, are forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences their medical degrees have provided. “We are quite fulfilled with our career choices in medicine,” said Batter, adding that he and Nessralla are committed to giving back to the academic institutions which have nurtured them.

The couple has long supported the School of Medicine and Dentistry as members of the George Eastman Circle. In addition, Batter gives his time as a member of the reunion class committee. With his 30th reunion approaching, Batter started looking for a way to make a permanent, and more personal, impact.

“I am a native of Rochester,” Batter said. “I even lived at home with my parents during medical school to save money!” After reaching out to a member of the advancement team, he began to consider an endowed gift pledged over multiple years. “We had conversations about needs and current priorities at the School that helped me realize I wanted to impact both current medical students and the local community, in part inspired by my relationship with Life Trustee Arthur M. Richardson, who has perpetually been generous to the Rochester community,” Batter recalls.

The couple established the Class of 1992 Fund for Medical Student Volunteer Community Engagementwhich will allow students to request funds for activities ranging from preparing meals at the local Hope Lodge for out of town cancer patients and their families to community outreach such as this youth basketball program with a focus on healthy decision-making. It will also support students participating in UR Well a program that provides health care services to uninsured and under-served adults.

“I feel indebted to the School and how it promoted the psycho-social aspect into how I care for patients,” Batter said. “Laurieann and I believe that encouraging volunteer opportunities in the surrounding community will only enhance the humanistic qualities of medical education that are so important to the University of Rochester’s way of teaching to develop the absolute best future physicians.”

Batter invited classmates to add their support, increasing the yearly budget for support. “I don’t think I know of another school that has a fund like this,” said David R. Lambert, MD, senior associate dean for medical student education. “This support will help us attract students committed to the service of others. Maintaining our robust community service offerings is important to foster the School’s biopsychosocial model, and caring for the whole person and all people.”

To discuss your philanthropic priorities or learn more about opportunities to create endowed scholarships that reflect your appreciation and desired impact through immediate or planned giving, please reach out to Kerrie Merz at kerrie.merz@rochester.edu or (585) 260-4379.