Scholarship Challenges Set for Women’s Network and Simon Students

Scholarship Challenges Set for Women’s Network and Simon Students


New efforts aim to boost alumni giving for key aspects of a yearlong, 
pandemic-driven campaign.

Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA)

University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) arrived in the United States with $180 and a four-year scholarship to the University. Today, he’s the managing director of wealth management and senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services and recognizes the important role that scholarship support played in his success.

“I am forever grateful to the University and Simon for providing me with the foundation for my career in corporate finance and investment management,” Lam says. In recognition of his success, he’s challenging other Simon Business School alumni and friends to create new scholarships for the school’s students. For each qualifying endowed scholarship that’s established, the $500,000 Evans Lam Opportunity Scholarship Challenge will add funds to enhance the scholarship.

The challenge is one of several such efforts encouraging alumni and donors to participate in the second half of the University’s Together for Rochester one-year campaign. Designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign has a goal of raising $100 million in the 2020–21 fiscal year to provide support for key University initiatives and to improve the outlook for students, faculty, staff, and alumni whose lives were disrupted during the past year. Specifically, the campaign supports several priorities: scholarships and financial aid, diversity initiatives, faculty recruitment, clinical and academic research, and career opportunities and internships.

The initiative is emphasizing efforts to engage alumni and volunteers to help current students and recent graduates with internships, job and networking opportunities, and other non-financial support. In a similar fundraising challenge announced earlier this year, University Trustees Gail Lione ’71 and Gwen Greene ’65 are spearheading the Women’s Network Challenge to provide support for women’s educational initiatives, health research, athletics, student activities, and other areas. And last fall, University Trustee Naveen Nataraj ’97 and his wife, Courtney, launched a scholarship fundraising challenge to create new undergraduate financial aid scholarships in support of the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. “It’s gratifying to see our alumni leaders engage so deeply with the Together for Rochester Campaign and its initiatives,” says Tom Farrell ’88, ’90W (MS), senior vice president for University Advancement. “The campaign was organized to give our community a platform to help each other in specific ways during these difficult times. This kind of leadership provides additional motivation for donors who want to participate in this effort.”

In general, for each challenge, the lead sponsors promise to add a set dollar amount to qualifying gifts as a way to build support quickly and as a way to engage the broader community in supporting the campaign. For the Lam challenge, the initiative is designed to encourage others to create new, endowed scholarships at Simon. If a donor establishes an initial $100,000 scholarship, the Lam challenge will add $50,000, for a total of $150,000. Likewise, if a new donor makes a $67,000 commitment, the challenge will add $33,000, for a value of $100,000. Lam has contributed $100,000 to an unrestricted scholarship fund to be put to use immediately.

For the Women’s Network Challenge, the goal is to encourage greater participation in the campaign from alumnae and friends. The University’s new volunteer-led Women’s Network was launched in October 2020 and is co-chaired by Lione and Tiffany Taylor Smith ’91. The Women’s Network is connecting and supporting women through programming, mentorship opportunities, and meaningful conversations. When the challenge reaches 1,000 donors—at any level of support—$25,000 will be made available for student scholarships and an additional $25,000 for the Susan B. Anthony Center, thanks to early donations from the women trustees serving on the Women’s Network Leadership Committee. Overall, the challenge hopes to raise $150,000.

This article first appeared in the spring 2021 issue of Rochester Review.