September 14, 2009

Faculty and Staff Members Invest in UA’s Future

The alumni, friends and supporters who contributed to the “Our Students. Our Future.” capital campaign were committed to investing in the future of The University of Alabama. One special group of contributors, though, took that investment very personally.

“I believe my contribution is an investment in the University, an investment in myself and my colleagues, and an investment in my own development and growth,” says Dr. Philip Westbrook, assistant professor of education, and one of the many faculty and staff members who contributed a total of $11.6 million to the campaign. “Participating in the capital campaign is an excellent way to contribute in the development of our faculty, staff and students.”

Faculty Senate president and campaign donor Dr. Karen F. Steckol was especially pleased with the percentage of employees who contributed. “Our aim was to make a difference in each area of the campus,” says Steckol, who is a professor, chair and clinic director of the Department of Communicative Disorders in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The faculty saw scholarships as an important part of the capital campaign.”

Because faculty and staff members could choose to contribute to any program, many invested in their own college. Dr. Beth Todd, associate professor of mechanical engineering, sees her contribution to the campaign as a down payment on recruiting quality students interested in making a difference within our world. “Without this type of support, we wouldn’t be able to attract the quality of students that we are seeing in our colleges,” Todd says. “It was important to join with alumni, friends and supporters and make a difference with our contributions.”

Many faculty and staff members are also alumni, parents of students or students themselves. “I’m a graduate of the University, and I feel a connection to the University and the college,” says Melanie O’Rear, dean’s office operations coordinator in the College of Education. “This is one way to give back, because I’ve certainly gained a lot through my life from this University.”

Faculty and staff members also expressed appreciation for the level of loyalty and support the campaign inspired. “I’m proud of the University for exceeding its stated campaign goal,” Steckol says. “It shows the commitment of alumni, friends, faculty and students to this great University.”


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