Philanthropy and a sense of giving back have always been part of the fabric of the University of Richmond. Our students leave this place having benefited from the generosity of those who came before them, and so many alumni go on to contribute to UR and their communities in powerful ways. 

One shining example is Dr. Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum, W’54 and a trustee emeritus, who along with her sister, Mildred Millhiser Heltzer, created an endowment 35 years ago to fund hospice care in the Richmond community.

Last week they were recognized as “Transformational Philanthropists” by the Virginia chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for National Philanthropy Day, after being nominated by the Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation.

After the death of their father, Rosenbaum, Heltzer, and their mother created the Amy and Charles Millhiser II Hospice Memorial Fund in 1982. Their gift created Bon Secours Hospice, which continues today to support families in need of end of life care and support. They also led fundraising for a first-of-its-kind freestanding facility that opened in 2015.

“Dr. Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum and Mrs. Mildred Millhiser Heltzer’s quiet, steadfast dedication to Bon Secours has truly changed the availability and quality of hospice care for all families in our community,” the AFP wrote on its National Philanthropy Day website.

UR was built on philanthropy, thanks to E. Claiborne Robins’ visionary $50 million gift in 1969 and the gifts of thousands of alumni and friends each year. And as President Crutcher recently said in his State of the University address, we are actively working to advance that culture of philanthropy within our own community.

“We are a well-resourced institution with education as our most worthy cause,” Crutcher said. “But so, too, are we an extraordinarily generous institution. We must continue to fund our strategic initiatives and all that we have promised to today’s students and the generations that will follow. To achieve this lofty but necessary imperative, we will need to engage every member of the Richmond community, including alumni, faculty, staff, and students, to create a culture where investment in our worthy causes is a choice we all wish to make.”

We’re so proud of Dr. Rosenbaum for being such a wonderful example of generosity at work. 

Photos courtesy Style and AFP Central Virginia Chapter.

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