After successfully leading efforts to secure the Case School of Engineering’s largest-ever gift, Michael Dolsak has accepted an even greater challenge: directing fundraising for all of the university’s health sciences programs.
Effective Aug. 5, he becomes vice president for health sciences development, succeeding Carol Moss, who assumed university-wide development responsibilities July 1.
“Michael combines deep passion for higher education with profound empathy for university supporters looking for ways to make meaningful impacts with their gifts,” said Moss, senior vice president for university relations and development. “He will provide outstanding leadership to make our already-strong health sciences’ teams even better.”
A native of Northeast Ohio, Dolsak came to the engineering school in 2010 and quickly distinguished himself through his work ethic, strategic thinking, and impressive results. Starting with a $150,000 commitment secured within his first three months, Dolsak went on to craft and lead execution of a $1 million fundraising plan to enable much-needed improvements to one of the school’s buildings. He also garnered dollars for major lab renovations, biomedical engineering, civil engineering, and materials sciences, as well as a new, state-of-the-art process and control lab for chemical engineering.
Many other successes followed, but 2017 witnessed the most impressive one of all: $20 million for strategic initiatives in biomedical engineering. With his Case School of Engineering development colleague Anne Cunningham, Dolsak first engaged with alumnus Bob Aiken and his wife, Brenda, to secure a more modest gift for scholarships for students majoring in biomedical engineering; as the couple learned more about the department’s accomplishments, though, the more they wanted to support research and education that, as Bob said then, would “go out and be helping people not only locally, but around the world.”
Over the course of the university’s $1.82 billion Forward Thinking capital campaign, the engineering school surpassed not one but two of its development goals, ultimately raising nearly $337 million. This total was second highest of all of the schools, trailing only medicine’s more than $666 million.
In his new role leading health sciences development, Dolsak will oversee fundraising and alumni relations across the medical, nursing and dental schools. As part of this transition, the medical school also promoted one of its top development officers, Lindsey Whitling, to the position of vice dean for medical development.
“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to contribute to Case Western Reserve in an even broader way,” Dolsak said, “I can’t wait to begin to work with leaders across the health sciences to draw even more support for their groundbreaking research and extraordinary students.”