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The Best Investment

By Paul Seifert

As everyone knows, the University's Knowledge for the World Campaign wrapped up at the end of last year as a resounding success. The campaign benefited the School in many ways, but the area of greatest need remains: support for students. Although the campaign increased our scholarships (both in number and dollar amounts), our students still need much more support than we can provide. They are, after all, not entering the field for its financial rewards.

This School's essential mission is to educate the best students to become the best public health leaders. A degree from the oldest and best school of public health in the world does not come cheap. The cost of an education at the Bloomberg School makes it impossible for some to attend unless they receive financial support. To expand our support and make sure that the very best students continue to come to the Bloomberg School, Dean Michael J. Klag has made support for additional scholarships a top fundraising priority.

As someone who was unable to attend my first choice for a university because of finances, I can personally relate to the frustration this causes. Everyone should be able to attain his or her education goals. Existing scholarships at the School have made it possible for us to educate such outstanding students as the Sommer Scholars, Brown Scholars, Johnson & Johnson Scholars, P&G Fellows, De Beers African Scholars and recipients of other programs. Students who have been awarded these scholarships clearly demonstrate academic and research acumen, but they also are acquiring knowledge and skills that will make them leaders in public health. Think of the legacy that a Bloomberg School education will make possible. As these students devote the rest of their careers to public health, imagine the discoveries they will make in the lab, the programs they will lead in the field and the policies they will create in the halls of governments around the world. That is true impact.

That's what drives those of us who work to raise funds for the School. For us, it is an exciting, challenging time. I like to think that one day we will have scholarship funding available for any student who needs it. It's an audacious goal to be sure, but one we should all work to achieve.

Imagine the possibilities.