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UM Foundation kicks off faculty, staff giving campaign

Excellence. Sustainability. Leadership. Engagement. These are some of the characteristics that describe UM, the values that draw people to campus and define UM as extraordinary.

The UM Foundation kicks off the 2012 UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign by asking faculty and staff to think about how they define the spirit of UM, while encouraging them to help ensure these attributes continue to inspire future students.

Throughout March and April, faculty and staff volunteers from all areas of campus will talk with their peers about the importance of private support and the power of giving back.

The goal of the campaign, led by management and information systems Professor Jerry Evans, is participation. Currently, about 16 percent, or close to 400 faculty and staff, contribute to the campaign each year. This year, Evans hopes participation will top 20 percent.

"On campus, we have the advantage of seeing the need for private support firsthand -- most notably in the students we interact with daily," Evans said. "As faculty and staff, we also have the opportunity to do something about these needs. Modest gifts can collectively add up to something transformational."

Last year, Evans' entire department agreed to direct their contributions to an area that they were mutually passionate about: the School of Business Administration Career Development program. Their gifts, of various sizes, helped support a program that positively impacts all business students. Evans encourages others to consider this model: faculty or staff uniting, together, on behalf of a shared passion.

For more information about the 2012 UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, call Lauren Clark, director of Annual Giving -- External Campaigns for the UM Foundation, at 406-243-2456, email or visit the campaign website