UMC Links

U of U Kicks Off Annual Giving Campaign

September 16, 2002 — The University of Utah’s employee giving program (formerly known as “Family Fund”) kicks off this month with new chairs, a new department representative program and a new name: Partners In Excellence.

Led by campaign co-chairs Sarah Michalak, Wayne Peay and Rita Reusch-directors of the Marriott, Eccles Health Sciences and Quinney Law Libraries, respectively-the campaign builds upon the tradition of strong financial support among U of U staff and faculty by encouraging employees to donate to any program or department they choose.

The university’s two senior vice presidents, A. Lorris Betz (Health Sciences) and David W. Pershing (Academic Affairs), announced to a group of department representatives at the kickoff meeting that approximately 2,700 U employees donated a combined $1.3 million to various university programs last year. This giving, they said, made a significant contribution to the success of the U in fulfilling its educational, healthcare, and community service responsibilities.

According to Betz, employee giving is particularly important, noting that in the School of Medicine alone, it amounted to approximately three-quarters of the amount of state funding the school receives. “Fortunately, donors to the Health Sciences have stepped up and filled holes in funding that otherwise would be gaping,” he said. Pershing spoke of the fact that so many at the U donate to leave a legacy and provide for the future. Neither stature nor salary, he says, has any correlation with whether people give or not: “I’m amazed at how many people with modest salaries give-and their small gifts, added up, are powerful.” He encouraged employees to give to something specific, close to home, where they can see the results of their giving.

Scholarships funded by employees are often what makes it possible for some students to get a university education at all, Pershing said, adding that it’s very important that department representatives share this message with employees. By giving, he said, “you are going to fundamentally change someone’s life.”

Campaign materials spotlight the donations of various U employees whose contributions assist students: Bookstore employee Melanie Hall is contributing to student scholarships; librarian Alfred Mowdood supports the Marriott Library’s Renovation-Innovation Capital Campaign; and David Chapman, professor of geology and geophysics and dean of the Graduate School, has established a professional development fund for students in that field.

“All of these employees-and thousands of others like them at the university-give to enhance some aspect of the U’s mission,” says Jeff Driggs, director of the Annual Giving office, which coordinates the campaign. “They are partners in providing excellence at the university.”

“Employees of the University of Utah are very generous in contributing to the University,” said the campaign co-chairs in a memo to deans and vice presidents. “Last year, faculty and staff donated more than $1.3 million to programs such as the University Hospital expansion, libraries, scholarships, athletics, public broadcasting, and individual departmental funds. We consider this an outstanding display of generosity.”

Employees donate via payroll deduction, cash, securities, planned gifts, and gifts-in-kind. These contributions not only directly benefit the students and the university, but they also demonstrate to alumni and friends that those who know the school best-its faculty and staff-personally endorse and support its programs.

Campaign materials and sign-up forms are being distributed on campus during the month of September. Those interested in learning more can log onto