November 9, 1998
98-290

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Faculty and Staff Campaign tops $100,000 and breaks records

Valdosta State University's Faculty and Staff Campaign of the 1999 Annual Fund Drive - a yearly effort in which VSU employees contribute money for university programs - has broken records for participation and money raised.

This year's campaign had a 45 percent participation rate among VSU faculty and staff, collecting more than $101,400 from 521 participants, according to Jeff Snow, director of the Annual Fund. Snow said 346 of those participants were new contributors.

That's up from $72,510 in total pledges and gifts last year, which was donated by 207 participants, Snow said. The last campaign had an 18 percent participation rate.

The effort is organized through the VSU Foundation, Inc.

"It is extremely gratifying that our faculty and staff, in addition to the outstanding service they render this university, have expressed confidence in its future by responding overwhelmingly to the Foundation's Annual Fund Drive," said Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, VSU president. "Obviously, we believe in what we are doing, and this is powerful testimony to those individuals off-campus on whom we also depend for support."

The Faculty and Staff Campaign, which kicked off Sept. 8 and recently concluded, annually raises money for VSU programs. Donations benefit a number of areas, including departmental accounts, the arts, athletics and student travel. Last year's Faculty and Staff Campaign raised approximately $3,500 for the Student Development Fund, which supports student travel for educational purposes, Snow said. As a result, more than 30 students received travel awards in the spring and fall.

"I think our chairman and our volunteers exceeded every expectation," said Ray Devery, vice president for Institutional Advancement. "This was truly a team effort. The key reason for this campaign's success was the hard work contributed by a number of volunteers. A campaign steering committee was created this year, composed of 23 faculty and staff from across campus and chaired by Dr. Louis Levy, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs."

"We took an informational approach to this campaign," Levy said. "If you provide people with information about opportunities, it's amazing the success you will have."

Snow said that the faculty and staff participation rate of 45 percent is critical for a state-assisted institution like VSU, because it demonstrates a high level of grassroots support and can encourage large, charitable organizations to make contributions in support of the university.

Faculty and staff contributions were made in a number of ways. Participants paid their pledges through payroll deduction or in installments to the VSU Foundation. Gifts were also made by check and credit card.

All contributions were tax deductible.