Catalyst Magazine

UMB’s Catalyst Campaign Shines Philanthropy’s Light

Catalyst Campaign Totals December 2020

The year 2020 has been unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in different ways: the way we work, the way we interact, the way we live. It is through this challenging and difficult year that the true light of philanthropy came shining through stronger than ever.   

Nowhere is that more evident than the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Catalyst Campaign — the most ambitious philanthropic initiative in UMB’s history. This $750 million campaign focuses on six areas of need: scholarship, faculty excellence, research, clinical initiatives, entrepreneurship, and community engagement.

The campaign effort, co-chaired by two UMB Foundation (UMBF) board members, Ellen H. Yankellow, PharmD ’96, CEO of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, and Brian J. Gibbons, JD ’87, CEO of Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, is making substantial impact. Through the extraordinary generosity of our UMB community, we’ve raised $579 million and expect to achieve our $600 million milestone, or 80 percent of our campaign goal, by year’s end.

To support our students, UMBF established 10 new student emergency funds last spring. The initial goal was $100,000; instead, the UMB community responded in overwhelming numbers, with 1,900 donors contributing $270,000 and counting to support students. During these times, it is gratifying to know a culture of giving continues to flourish from all sectors. 

The light of philanthropy also shines through in UMB’s community engagement efforts. About $9 million was raised through private and public champions who helped to complete renovations to the spacious, 20,000-square-foot new home of our Community Engagement Center (CEC), a critical facility offering important services to our West Baltimore community.

UMB also received contributions for 560 bricks and pavers purchased for “Welcome Way,” the permanent CEC entrance, symbolically reinforcing our message of hope, partnership, and possibility to our neighbors. Meanwhile, the CURE Scholars and Promise Heights programs continue to receive meaningful support and have valuable impact.

Our work continues! Philanthropy is playing an active role in bridging the digital divide: UMB is working with key stakeholders to provide broadband internet access to students so they can continue virtual learning in West Baltimore. Over 1,000 families (at $120 a year per family) have been supported by contributions, with a goal to connect 2,000 families in need.

To learn more about how you can help shine philanthropy’s light across UMB’s schools and community engagement initiatives, contact the UMB Office of Philanthropy at

UMB is a catalyst, promoting social justice improving health, and serving the public good of Maryland and the region. Now, more than ever, we seek your support to continue this important work.

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Office of Philanthropy Staff

CATALYST magazine

Executive Board

Lynne Henry, Laura Kozak, Larry Kushner, Jennifer Litchman, Thomas Sullivan, Kate Ostrowski


Lynne Henry

Managing Editor

Chris Zang

Assistant Editor

Kate Ostrowski

Photography Director

Matthew D’Agostino


Michelle Baffuto

Web Director

Amir Chamsaz

Marketing Manager

Kristi McGuire