Philanthropy Week Inspires Giving
November 09, 2011
Nan Cormier, University Advancement
Faculty Donors to the UMass Boston Fund (left to right)
UMass Boston's first ever Philanthropy Week brought new attention to the important role private giving plays in strengthening the university's mission. UMass Boston Fund Director Kelly Westerhouse organized a group of volunteers for the October 31–November 4 event. They staffed a table at the Campus Center that invited students and others to learn about giving, make a gift, and to express their appreciation to university donors. Student visitors prepared more than 1,000 handwritten thank you notes to donors. Fifty students became first-time donors and became founding members of a new Student Philanthropy Council. Next spring the council will gather to decide how to designate their gifts. As a gesture of thanks, the new philanthropists received a special UMass Boston bracelet/flash drive.
Several members of the university's Board of Visitors attended the event and supported the initiative by matching student gifts dollar for dollar. These included Rick Lawton, former UMass trustee, Jacqueline Fawcett, nursing department chair, and Mark Marinella, '81. Philanthropy Week culminated with the faculty and staff donor appreciation reception in Healey Library. More than 12.5 percent of the faculty and staff population give back to the university through their contributions.
Gina Cappello, interim vice chancellor for university advancement, welcomed guests and told them that their generosity "is also helping us to build a culture of philanthropy at UMass Boston." She explained that the goal of Philanthropy Week is to "educate our students about how their gifts to the UMass Boston Fund can help increase resources that impact them, like financial aid, scholarships, faculty recruitment, and lab and classroom equipment."
UMass Boston Fund volunteers Liliana Mickle, special assistant to the vice provost for academic services and undergraduate studies, and Tim Sieber, professor of anthropology, shared their perspectives on the vital influence of charitable gifts in helping the university achieve its goals. Mickle will be featured in a letter, video, and poster for this year's faculty and staff donor campaign. Professor Sieber served that role last year. Attendees also watched a video featuring students expressing their thanks.
To learn more about supporting the university or to make a gift, visit www.umb.edu.giving. To make giving easier, faculty and staff may make their contributions via payroll deduction. To volunteer for next year's Philanthropy Week, contact Steve Ward in University Advancement.