The Employees Campaign for the Community reflects UB’s engagement with its communities.
Published October 18, 2012
UB launched its 2012 Employees Campaign for the Community last week with an “ambitious” goal of $815,000—a goal that campaign chair A. Scott Weber says he is confident UB can achieve “working together as a team.”
“This university is a recognized national leader in our generosity and commitment with our gifts to the community,” Weber, vice provost and dean for undergraduate education, said at the leadership kickoff luncheon held on Oct. 12 in the Center for the Arts atrium. “We’ve been generous for many, many years in that process, and built a reputation in that process, and today continues that great tradition.”
He noted that President Satish K. Tripathi has a strong vision for UB’s community engagement.
“As we move forward toward ever-greater excellence, this vision is perfectly aligned with our well-known and nationally recognized support for the community,” Weber said.
Taking his turn at the podium to speak to attendees—including members of UB’s campaign steering committee, donors, representatives from select community agencies and UB and United Way leadership—Tripathi pointed out that Buffalo is noted for being the “City of Good Neighbors.” And it’s clear from the history of the campaign for the community that “UB is a very good neighbor itself,” he said.
UB employees, he said, “embody the university’s mission to improve the quality of life of the community we serve by giving generously.”
UB is continuously ranked among the top agencies supporting the annual SEFA (State Employees Federated Appeal) campaign and is among the top five universities nationally in charitable giving, Tripathi said, adding that UB also is a leader in the United Way’s Day of Caring, with hundreds of faculty, staff and students taking part every year to make the university among the top local companies participating in Western New York’s largest community service project.
Since it started 36 years ago as part of SEFA, UB’s campaign has raised more than $17 million for charitable organizations locally and around the world, he said, noting that about two-thirds of donations are designated for organizations serving Buffalo Niagara.
“This is truly a significant engagement with our community and region,” Tripathi said. “Together, we are fulfilling our mission to be good neighbors and active members of our community.”
Dennis Black, vice president for university life and services, told those attending the luncheon that his job as chair of this year’s community-wide United Way campaign involves attending campaign kickoff events at institutions around the region.
He said he usually tells a story at each event—the theme of this year’s campaign is “Rewriting People’s Stories”—but he wouldn’t tell a story at the UB kickoff.
“You all have heard all of my stories,” he joked.
Black quickly turned serious, reminding attendees about the urgent needs in the community.
“You see it in our offices and in our workplace; you see it in our students and our colleagues; you see it in the volunteer service that you all do; we see it in our research; and we see it every time we read the newspaper or watch the local news,” said Black, who chaired last year’s UB employees campaign.
“We live in a time of great challenge in the community; we have a great opportunity to make a difference.
“As the university strives for excellence, we partner with others in striving for community excellence at the same time,” he said.
Faculty and staff can make donations online by visiting the campaign’s website. Employees are asked to make their donations by Nov. 27.