The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Blue and Gold Campaign to promote faculty and staff giving will kick into high gear for the 2019-20 school year in October.
A new year for the campaign follows a school year in which 483 faculty and staff gave nearly $250,000. Alberto Perez, UNG's annual giving officer, said those contributions make a major difference.
"The faculty and staff have the greatest impact on students, and this is another way for them to show their care for students and lead by example through giving to the university," Perez said. "It speaks volumes to know that they go the extra mile to support UNG."
Faculty and staff are able to direct their giving to specific areas, as last school year the Blue and Gold Campaign supported 138 different program funds.
Anna Speessen, the coordinator of academic success at UNG's Blue Ridge Campus, has given to the North Georgia Mountain Scholarship Opportunity Fund, which funds the Blue Ridge Scholars program.
"I give because education is important to me. This scholarship can have an immediate impact on students, giving them a chance, or a second chance, to attain their educational goals," Speessen said. "As a nontraditional student who was blessed with scholarships, I want to help those students who need the support. This is also a meaningful way for me to give back to my community."
Dr. Richard Oates, vice president of UNG's Gainesville Campus, has given to the campaign for nearly three decades.
"UNG is my professional home and my professional family. This university is a loving, caring and nurturing environment for students, faculty and staff," Oates said. "I give to UNG because I want to support its mission to provide the best educational experience possible. The university has supported me throughout my career. Giving to UNG will provide similar opportunities to others within the university family. That's an important legacy to maintain and grow."
Katie Simmons, associate dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, said giving to the Blue and Gold Campaign is a way of investing in a place that has invested so much in her and others.
"UNG provides an opportunity to pursue higher education for so many first-generation students and a second chance for many nontraditional students," Simmons said. "It also supports faculty and staff who want to advance in their careers by providing financial support for tuition, conferences and continuing education."
During the month of October, the UNG Foundation will also launch its third annual #ONEUNG crowdfund campaign focused on support for projects such as a student travel fund for the College of Science and Mathematics and the UNG Galleries Summer Program. See a full list of projects at the #ONEUNG crowdfund website. Engaged faculty and staff are responsible for promoting and fundraising for each of these projects that directly benefit UNG students.
Perez said the support of UNG faculty and staff through giving is a crucial element.
"It's a breath of fresh air to see faculty and staff have that culture," he said.