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The Meliora Challenge Wins Industry Award

June 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has awarded the University of Rochester the highest award for Fundraising Publications Packages in the Advancement field: the CASE Grand Gold Circle of Excellence Award.

“This is great recognition for the University,” said Jim Thompson, senior vice president and chief advancement officer at the University of Rochester. “It is also a testament to the hard work and talent of a core creative team and enhanced by insights that came from a large, highly collaborative group that spanned academic, administrative, communication, and volunteer leadership.”

The award was given for the concept and complete set of fundraising materials produced for the public launch of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. These materials included the University-wide case statement; the first issue of Endeavor, Advancement’s quarterly Campaign newsletter; the Campaign’s portfolio, stationery, launch e-blasts; and the Campaign website.

CASE’s International Circle of Excellence awards program recognizes outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing, as judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges, and universities as well as by professionals from outside education. Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources, and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty, and staff.

In 2012, CASE received more than 2,800 entries for consideration in 40 categories by nearly 600 higher education member institutions. Only 19 institutions received the top prize of a Grand Gold Award in a particular category.

Thompson saluted the University trustees for their contributions to the Campaign communications effort. He noted the vision of Edmund “Ed” Hajim, chair of the Board of Trustees; Rich Handler and Cathy Minehan, Campaign co-chairs; Larry Bloch, chair of the Trustee Development Committee; Robert Goergen, Campaign honorary chair; Dr. Bernard Ferrari, chair of the Campaign Marketing Workgroup; and Life Trustee Joe Mack, who came up with the distinctive name for the Campaign.

Thompson also said that the following individuals and groups played central roles in securing the CASE Grand Gold Circle of Excellence Award:

  • Jonathan Schwartz, senior associate vice president for advancement, and Francine Cronin, senior assistant vice president for capital projects and communications, both of whom are directing the Campaign and its marketing
  • Michelle Chasse, manager of creative services, who oversaw all aspects of design
  • The entire team from the Office of University Campaigns, Advancement Communications, and Capital & Special Projects
  • Ron Arena, the University’s communications consultant from Marts & Lundy

“This award is significant not only to the University but also to the industry overall as it exemplifies the best practices in this field,” added Thompson. “Receiving this is a high-level endorsement of all the hard work here under the leadership of President Joel Seligman during the last seven years.”

For more information on the Campaign, visit For more information on CASE, visit

Category: University News

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