CWRU Alum Awarded 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award by Association of Fundraising Professionals

Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine alumnus Theodore Castele, MD, FACR, was awarded the prestigious 2013 Outstanding Volunteer Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in recognition of his extraordinary fundraising effort on behalf of the School of Medicine, and dozens of other philanthropic causes around the country. 

Each year during its annual National Philanthropy Day, the AFP recognizes the most inspiring individuals who contribute to fundraising and philanthropy efforts. This year, Case Western Reserve University nominated one of its own distinguished alumni for the 2013 award, an honor designated for individuals –with  “exceptional leadership skills in motivating others for fundraising projects that benefit charitable institutions” and who “demonstrates commitment to the advancement of philanthropy.”

“How fulfilling it is for us to see one of our alumni win this award,” says Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, dean of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs.  “Not only is Dr. Castele an excellent educator, he has exceptional networking skills and demonstrates a sense of fundraising savvy and excitement that’s awfully hard to resist.  He is a genuinely caring person who strongly believes in the importance of the work we do here and who goes the extra mile to find funding for projects that improve the lives of other people.  We are extremely proud that a man of his vision, commitment and caring came from within the Case Western Reserve Medical School ranks.”

Castele, an assistant professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, has volunteered as chair of multiple councils and two major fundraising campaigns, including the $300 million “Campaign for the Future of Academic Medicine” in 1999. As further testament to his skill and passion for fundraising, Castele has served as Interim Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Affairs. For the past five years, he has also chaired the School of Medicine’s Commission for the Advancement of Academic Medicine, a group of donors and friends that meet twice a year for fundraising support and school advocacy. 

“I am extremely excited and very pleased to be receiving this award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.” Castele said. “To me, receiving an award from your peers is considered the highest honor. I received all of my education at the School of Medicine, I'm happy to be able to give back to an institution who has given me so much.”

Recently, Castele also spearheaded the School of Medicine’s drive to contribute to Case Western Reserve University’s $1 billion “Forward Thinking” campaign.  Under his leadership, the School of Medicine has raised $287.8 million towards its $350 million goal by March, 2013. When he spearheads a fundraising campaign, Castele is often heard jokingly threatening to “lock the doors” until every person in the meeting has delivered a gift—a line he delivers with the good-humor and kind, passionate spirit of an earnest but determined volunteer. 

Castele has a long been a respected medical expert throughout the community. Trained as a radiologist, he became the Medical Editor for News Channel 5 (ABC) in 1975 and presented health reports to viewers throughout Northeast Ohio until 1999. In fact, he was the first television news doctor in the country.

He has dedicated thousands of hours to community organizations, including the Community West Foundation, the Cleveland Medical Library Association, the Boy Scouts of America, the Northeast Ohio Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society. For twenty years, Castele served as a member of the Ohio Delegation to the American Medical Association and acted as chairman for half of that time. In 1999, he was appointed a founding member of the National Institutes of Health Council of Public Representatives in Washington, D.C.

In recognition of his dedication and service, the American Medical Association granted Castele its highest honor, the Benjamin Rush Award for outstanding contributions in citizenship and public service beyond the call of duty as a practicing physician. In 1991, he was named Outstanding Philanthropist by The National Association of Fundraising Executives. He has also received the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Eagle Scout Association of Greater Cleveland, an honor that he shared with only two other living recipients in the region. He was inducted into Cleveland Magazine’s Medical Hall of Fame in 1999 and, in 2001, received the Lamplighter Humanitarian Award from the West Side Ecumenical Ministry, a faith-based service organization helping more than 600,000 individuals each year.

Castele and his wife Jean, who have seven children, 18 grandchildren and 1 greatgrandchild, often take a team approach to fundraising and have been recognized internationally. In 1993, Pope John Paul II commissioned the Casteles as Knight and Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. In 2010, this same order awarded the couple the rank of Knight and Lady of the Grand Cross.

“It is an enjoyable experience to help others,” Castele added. The money isn't raised to just raise money; it's raised to help people. That’s been my goal all my life.”



Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

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Amanda Petrak