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What does UM mean to you?

Karen Kaley and Mick Hanson both have interacted with generations of UM students, sported lots of maroon and grey and consider the campus community home. And every year, Kaley and Hanson both choose to demonstrate their commitment to The University of Montana with  financial support.

Inspired by this shared dedication, Kaley, a staff member in the Davidson Honors College, and Hanson, retired director of financial aid, are  co-chairing the 2010-11 UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign. The pair are joined by more than 30 faculty and staff volunteers; together, the committee will be soliciting their peers for gifts to benefit campus.

This year’s campaign encourages faculty and staff to consider the question: ‘What does UM mean to you?’

“The University of Montana means something different to each of us and every one of us has our own UM story,” said Hanson. “Most of us have at least one thing that we’re passionate about on campus and we encourage you to pick your passion and support the area that inspires you.”

To Hanson, UM is “more than a place, it’s a unified heartbeat from students, faculty and staff that reflects an excitement for learning and commitment to making the state of Montana better.”

Kaley’s answer to this question involves “words like vital, rewarding and perpetual.”

There are innumerable opportunities to give that will enhance the experience of UM students, faculty and staff, alike.

“You can give to a particular department or a special program or event,” Kaley points out. “You can contribute to help a student study abroad. Or you can give in memory of a former colleague. The options are limitless.”

The campaign goal is participation. Currently, 15 percent of UM faculty and staff make an annual gift in support of the University. This year’s goal is 25 percent.

Kaley and Hanson emphasize that small gifts collectively make a tremendous impact.

“These are financially challenging times for many of us,” Kaley acknowledges. “But, if we each give just a little bit,  together we can do something great.”

The possibilities are endless and the impact is significant. Simply ask yourself, “What does UM mean to me and how do I want to make a difference?”

The 2010-11 UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign runs through the end of June.

For more information visit the UM Foundation website at http://www.supportum.org/faculty-staff, call Lauren Clark at 406-243-2456 or email lauren.clark@mso.umt.edu.