Faculty-staff campaign opens with campuswide celebration Sept. 3

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The faculty and staff component of SMU Unbridled: Campaign for the Second Century will begin with campuswide events Sept. 3, culminating in an all-University celebration at 4 p.m. in the Umphrey Lee Center Ballroom hosted by President R. Gerald Turner.

Faculty and staff gifts received by Sept. 3, 2009, will be counted in the participation competition that will jump-start the campaign. At the 4 p.m. kickoff, the school or administrative unit with the highest rate of participation this fiscal year to date will be announced.

Harold Stanley and Julie Wiksten, co-chairs of the Campaign Steering Committee for Faculty and Staff, mailed letters and pledge forms to each faculty and staff member.

SMU is seeking the same levels of participation for faculty and staff as for alumni: 25 percent annual participation and 50 percent cumulative participation over the life of the campaign.

The Campaign Steering Committee includes representatives from 13 areas of the University, which includes all seven schools plus Athletics; Business and Finance; Central University Libraries; Development and External Affairs; President’s Office, Provost/Academic Affairs and Legal Affairs; and Student Affairs.

As a campaign co-chair, “I have heard strong statements of commitment and connection to SMU from faculty and staff members across the board,” says Stanley, the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “My own take is that this is a great place to work and a great community. It’s important to help SMU become the great university it can be.

“Other donors can take as testimonial the enthusiasm with which our faculty and staff members give back. That spirit will have meaning above and beyond a dollar amount.”

Wiksten (’78, ’92), executive director of auxiliary services in the Division of Business and Finance, lived in the Park Cities as a child and has worked at SMU for 31 years. In addition, she earned two degrees from the University – a bachelor’s in urban studies and sociology and a Master of Liberal Arts. “I’m motivated by my connections to the University,” she says. “I’ve dedicated so much of my life to SMU that it seems a wise investment to put my money into making SMU the best it can be.”

Faculty and staff members can expect creative fund-raising initiatives within each area, she adds. “We’re going to see lots of ways to participate that will encourage friendly competition and enthusiasm for reaching our goals.”

Giving is strictly voluntary, and gifts to any area on campus – including endowment, operating funds and the President’s Partners program – are counted toward the campaign. Donors may also choose to support one of the campaign priorities: Student Scholarships, Faculty and Academic Excellence or Campus Experience.

The Second Century Campaign officially launched Sept. 12, 2008, with the goal of raising $750 million by 2013 to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Visit smu.edu/fs for more information about the campaign, the Campaign Steering Committee for Faculty and Staff, and the kickoff events schedule.

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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