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Endowment Gifts

Advancing our mission today, and in the future

Edmund G. Norwick Jr. Endowment Fund

headshot of CWRU student Ozgur Bolat

Electric engines inspire Ozgur Bolat. As an electrical engineering major, Bolat has learned about renewable energy systems and taken advantage of co-ops and internships that have helped him gain experience in the field. His post-graduation goal: joining a U.S.-based engineering team that creates electric cars.

None of these plans would be possible without scholarship support from the Edmund G. Norwick Jr. Endowment Fund.

“I have always needed some type of scholarship to help my family pay my educational expenses,” said Bolat, a native of Turkey. “I could never come to study in the United States if not for [this assistance], which lets kids like me have the chance to achieve their full potential.”

Norwick, who died in 2009 at the age of 89, earned degrees in political science and business from Case Western Reserve. In 1939, he enlisted in the 107th Cavalry Regiment of the Ohio National Guard, and served in Europe from 1944 through 1947. Upon his return, he rejoined the 107th, enjoying both a long military career and great success as an advertising executive.

For his part, Bolat has tried to make the most of the opportunity the Norwick scholarship provides, joining the campus chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serving as a math tutor. He hopes to fund a scholarship for a future student someday.

“I wouldn’t have formed the friendships and connections I have today,” he said, “if I didn’t receive the scholarship that allowed me to come study at Case Western Reserve.”

Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professorship

headshot of CWRU professor Dominique Durand

Dominique Durand, the Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, may be pushing up against an epilepsy treatment breakthrough, a development that could someday benefit millions worldwide.

Durand, also named Distinguished University Professor this summer, said the endowed professorship, which he received in 2006, has provided him with the freedom to pursue answers to pressing problems. Among them: quelling the riot of nerves that accompanies epileptic seizures before they even happen.

“This kind of discretionary support is invaluable for research faculty like me,” Durand said. “It provides seed funding for obtaining preliminary data for new ideas that can then be converted into larger proposals.”

Additionally, Durand said the endowment support allows him to keep valuable research going as federal funding ebbs and flows, or even ends.

For Durand, that means creative research on the nervous system—especially as it relates to the understanding and treatment of alcoholism, sleep apnea, paralysis, amputation—and epilepsy.

In the most recent work, Durand and his team successfully prevented more than 90% of epileptic seizures in rodents by pre-emptively directing a low-frequency charge to the white matter of the brain.

Currently, doctors have a success rate of about only 50% in suppressing a seizure in human subjects, but only after it has begun to occur.

Although Durand’s unique method remains years away from human trials, the advance is still exciting and promising, he said. Epilepsy affects about 1% of the world’s population or about 65 million people total.

Investment Approach

Case Western Reserve balances two priorities in managing its investments: significant growth of the endowment and avoidance of undue risk involving its funds. These imperatives reflect the institution’s commitment to serve those now on the campus as well as the many generations who follow them. It is the university’s obligation to serve as a responsible steward of all contributions received, and at the same time ensure that the funds accumulate adequate interest to preserve and increase the gift’s original total. To achieve this goal, the university’s portfolio is allocated across a broad range of areas, among them domestic and foreign public equities, fixed-income funds, private capital and real assets.

Case Western Reserve’s Office of Investment manages endowment funds held directly by the university. In addition to seeking growth without incurring significant losses, the office also must preserve adequate liquidity to meet ongoing needs as specified by donors and direct by the university’s Board of Trustees. The board annually allocates a portion of returns to support the overall operations of the university and the actual management of the funds.