Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland—the University of Maryland's most ambitious fundraising campaign to-date—will focus on elevating and expanding our mission of service, enhancing our academic distinction, and bolstering a leading-edge research enterprise that has the power to improve the lives of millions.

Fearless Ideas will fuel our continued ascent as a world-class public research university through: 

  • investments in our world-renowned faculty;
  • support for innovative programs and capital projects;
  • scholarships and innovative co-curricular programs for students; and
  • expanded pioneering programs that amplify our impact as the state's flagship university and the nation's first Do Good campus.

Join us as we build on the School of Public Health's growth and momentum as we enter our second decade by supporting one of several key areas:

  • Endowed chairs and professorships will advance scholarship and innovative research and enable us to recruit the best public health educators and leaders. ($3 million goal)
  • Educational technology and facilities upgrades will provide state-of-the-art learning environments that foster collaboration and interdisplinary approaches to public health challenges. ($3 million goal)
  • Support for students, through scholarships, fellowships, student organizations and living-learning programs, is fundamental to the success of our talented, diverse student population of 2,500 undergraduates and 300 graduate students. ($4 million goal) 
  • Pioneering programs in global health, health equity, health literacy, human performance, aging, and educational innovation will help us make our mark as a leading School of Public Health. ($4 million goal)

Why We Give: Robert S. and Barbara Gold

We are the children of Depression-era parents and were both educated in public schools and universities. We place a high value on affordable, high-quality education for all and on innovative thinking.

Bob’s career, which included being the founding dean of the School of Public Health, has been marked by his interest in the innovative use of technology to improve the human condition. Barbara has been very supportive of Bob’s penchant for the early adoption of new technologies beginning in the 1970s when he bought one of the first Apple II computers, not only for personal use, but for its role in public health applications.

We recently created the Gold Public Health Innovation Competition through a $100,000 endowment gift to encourage students to apply new and emerging technologies to address public health problems and reward them with money to help launch the idea. The return to us is knowing that we are supporting ongoing student innovation in the pursuit of solving big problems.

Bill Foege, one of the most impressive people and big problem solvers we have known, is an epidemiologist and one of the architects of the global strategy to eradicate smallpox. His innovation was the concept of “ring containment theory,” modeled on what he learned fighting forest fires in the Pacific Northwest. This strategy involved inoculating only 15 percent of the population when others thought everyone needed to be vaccinated, and it worked.

He often said that we are in the 99th percentile of the world’s population in terms of wealth and educational attainment. Our greatest debt in life is to the society that has invested millions of dollars in our education-a society that has been preparing for generations for what we are now able to do.

We should do what we can to ensure this continues.

Robert S. Gold serves as Director of Educational Innovation for the School of Public Health. Two winners were announced March 28 at the inaugural Gold Public Health Innovation Competition. Ivy Benjenk Ph.D. ’19 received $3,000 for “Patient Personal Assistant with Amazon Lex Technology,” and Theresa Tassey M.P.H ’18 received $2,000 for naloxone smart kits.

Where to Give:

SPH Gift Fund link, photo of SPH building

Link to Wrenn scholarship fund, photo of student in lab

Photo of students  

Link to Horowitz Center for Health Literacy giving, photo of speaker

Link to Public Health Without Borders giving, photo of student with school children

Link to Gymkana fund, photo of Gymkana troupe