Campus News

UB kicks off 2021-22 Faculty Staff Campaign

Lee Melvin and Jean Wactawski-Wende congratulate prize winners during the Faculty and Staff Campaign kickoff.

Faculty Staff Campaign co-chairs Lee Melvin and Jean Wactawski-Wende congratulate prize winners during the campaign kickoff breakfast on Oct. 7 in the Center for the Arts. Photo: Sama Waham


Published October 15, 2021

Lee Melvin, Photographer: Heather Bellini Photography.
“If the students are the body of this university, then we, as faculty and staff, are the heart. ”
Lee Melvin, vice provost for enrollment management

UB launched its annual Faculty Staff Campaign last week, and the event in the Center for the Arts also honored those donors who have given to the university consistently over the years.

The UB Faculty Staff Campaign is an annual effort that supports Boldly Buffalo, the university’s multi-year, comprehensive fundraising campaign that aims to raise $1 billion to amplify the university’s mission of transforming ambitious students into thought leaders who leave a lasting impact on Western New York and the world. To date, donors have contributed nearly $800 million to Boldly Buffalo, providing opportunities to our students and faculty and bettering our communities.

At the event on Oct. 7, Rodney Grabowski, vice president for university advancement, spoke about the importance of participation. “We measure the success of the Faculty Staff Campaign not in dollars, but in participation. Last year, 34% of our full-time faculty and staff supported the campaign, with gifts to over 400 designations,” Grabowski said. “That means that your support goes to the area of the university that means the most to you, whether scholarships, academic symposia or athletics.”  

President Satish K. Tripathi introduced campaign co-chairs Jean Wactawski-Wende, SUNY Distinguished Professor and dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, and Lee H. Melvin, vice provost for enrollment management. Both Wactawski-Wende and Melvin shared that they had been recipients of scholarships throughout their educations, which inspired them to step into these volunteer roles.

“My husband and I met at UB while in graduate school and have both personally benefited from scholarship support from UB when we were completing our PhD degrees. We are forever grateful to UB for that support,” Wactawski-Wende said. “Over time, we have supported UB as we were able as a way to give back to UB for its support of us.

“In the last few years, we were able to increase this support and endow a student scholarship to help future doctoral students as they complete their degrees,” she said. “Being able to ‘pay it forward’ in this way has given us such pleasure.”

Melvin thanked this year’s ambassadors for their dedication to UB. “If the students are the body of this university, then we, as faculty and staff, are the heart,” he said.

Grabowski recognized longtime supporters of the Faculty Staff Campaign, including 145 colleagues who have donated to the campaign for 30 or more consecutive years. “You, our dedicated faculty and staff, have been instrumental to our fundraising success and momentum. We are grateful for your loyal support,” Grabowski told the assembled crowd.

Funds raised through the 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 Western New York community, the campaign does not contribute directly to the university.

More information about the 2021-22 Faculty Staff Campaign is available on the Boldly Buffalo website, including an online payroll deduction form for ease of giving.