Published October 11, 2019
Each year, UB faculty and staff dedicate their time and talent to educating the next generation of innovators, engaging in pioneering research and solving society’s most complex problems.
These efforts and more are supported by the UB Faculty Staff Campaign, which calls on employees to help elevate UB toward a brighter future through gifts to the university.
The 2019-20 UB Faculty Staff Campaign launched this week with a kickoff breakfast for more than 40 employee campaign ambassadors.
The campaign is part of Boldly Buffalo, the largest campaign in UB and SUNY history, which aims to amplify the university’s mission of transforming ambitious students into thought leaders who leave a lasting impact on the world. To date, Boldly Buffalo has raised 89% of its $650 million goal.
“You, our faculty and staff, are critical to fulfilling UB’s mission and vision of excellence,” President Satish K. Tripathi told those attending the kickoff event on Tuesday in the Center for Tomorrow. “As our Boldly Buffalo campaign empowers us to do more, we are grateful for the many ways that you go above and beyond to support our university.
“I hope you are as gratified as I am that UB continues to attract the best and brightest students; students who value the world-class education we offer, and who recognize that UB prepares them to contribute meaningfully in the 21st century. With your continued support, they will build upon the incredible progress they have already made.”
The goal for this year’s campaign is participation — 2,020 donors, to be exact. The campaign runs through April 2020, and employees may designate gifts to the school, area or program of their choice.
Funds raised for the UB Faculty Staff Campaign are separate from those given to the UB Employees Campaign for the Community as part of the State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA). While SEFA is important to the community, the campaign does not contribute directly to the university.
“While the Faculty Staff Campaign is about inspiring support for UB, it’s also about fostering pride in the incredible work that all of us do. The work that you do is a tremendous benefit for our students, our faculty and our staff,” said Rod Grabowski, vice president for university advancement. “With 30,000 students, there is a story every single day that scholarship makes a difference, or that a professor has inspired a student to do something they never thought they could do. That is the difference higher education makes.”
Small gifts, big impact
Last year, more than 40% of UB faculty and staff — more than 1,700 employees — took part in the UB Faculty Staff Campaign. Among these gifts to Boldly Buffalo, $25 million was raised through donations of $1,000 or less.
These gifts to UB have supported 20 new chairs and professorships, more than 180 student scholarships and fellowships, and the renovation or construction of 13 buildings.
“For many of us, UB is more than our employer,” said Marsha Lewis, campaign co-chair and dean of the School of Nursing. “Whether it’s student scholarships, athletics, cultural events or academic symposiums, there are a multitude of ways to engage with the larger UB community.
“It is where many of us choose to direct our personal philanthropy,” Lewis said. “Last year, 40% of our full-time faculty and staff made gifts to the university. That level of support shows that we are passionate about the role UB plays in our lives, both professionally and personally.”
Lewis is chairing the 2019-20 UB Faculty Staff Campaign along with Tom Ulbrich, assistant dean in the School of Management and executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
To start the campaign, Lewis and her husband pledged an endowment to support educational innovation within the School of Nursing.
“Our hope is that our endowment will grow with our contributions so that the School of Nursing will have a fund to support pilot work in educational innovation. I wanted to provide a parallel fund, since it is equally important that our pedagogy be just as cutting edge as our research,” Lewis said.
With hundreds of designations to choose from, UB faculty and staff can donate to numerous programs across the university’s 12 schools and units, which include UB Athletics, University Libraries, Student Life and the Honors College.
“It is participation that counts, and every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference,” Lewis said.
To learn more about the UB Faculty Staff Campaign or to show your UB pride by making a donation, visit the Boldly Buffalo website.