Published January 14, 2013
There was plenty to celebrate Thursday as dozens of volunteers and administrators gathered to mark the close of a very successful 2012-13 UB Employees Campaign for the Community. UB employees raised $834,697, far exceeding the $815,000 goal set in the fall when the campaign kicked off. That also was nearly $20,000 higher than the 2011-12 figure.
“I’m very proud of what you all accomplished,” Michael Weiner, a UB alumnus and CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, said during the reception held in the Bansal Atrium in Davis Hall, North Campus. Joe Brennan, associate vice president for university communications, was the event’s master of ceremonies.
Weiner called UB’s performance “extremely impressive,” noting that the university’s 53 percent participation rate “is outstanding. …You’re regarded as a best practice.”
A. Scott Weber, senior vice provost for academic affairs, served as this year’s campaign chair. Weber thanked all who contributed to the campaign and the many volunteers who spearheaded the campaign within their department.
“I look at the campaign as part of our institutional culture. We take great pride in the campaign,” Weber said. “Not only do those gifts help many in our area and far beyond, but they also help many of our own colleagues at the university, and that’s something we often don’t realize. One of the things we tried to do this year was to personalize the campaign a bit and we had some great colleagues who were willing to share their stories about the impact the United Way had on their own lives as a member of the UB community.”
Weber thanked the three employees who shared their stories: Sarah Augustynek (Employee Relations), Ray Orrange (School of Management) and Marian Felschow (University Facilities).
President Satish K. Tripathi also praised the hard work and dedication of all involved with the campaign. “We have a lot to celebrate today. We did more than just meet our campaign goal. We met our own very high standard of service to the greater public good,” Tripathi said. “UB’s engagement with our larger communities is a key component of our mission as a premier public research university. Academic excellence will always be our first priority, but the principle of engagement is what helps give it meaning. As UB grows stronger as an institution, so will our impact on the communities we serve.”
A big part of the annual campaign wrapup is the awards presentation. Twelve units received a “Topping the Charts” plaque for exceptional performance: Office of the President; School of Nursing; Office of the Provost; School of Management; Law School; School of Social Work; School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Research and Economic Development; UB Foundation; University Life and Services; University Libraries; and the School of Public Health and Health Professions.
This year’s Chair’s Cup, awarded at the discretion of the campaign chair to a unit that achieved distinction, was presented to the School of Social Work, which raised more than $16,000—or 106 percent of its goal—and ranked second in percentage of contributors per unit and fourth in response rate.
Amy Atkinson, the Law School’s director of special events, received the Volunteer of the Year award. The Unsung Hero award went to Marsha Lewis, dean of the School of Nursing, who invited everyone in her department who participated within the first week to her home for a thank-you meal.
The Bennett Cup, dubbed the “MVP award” and named after Robert M. Bennett, chancellor emeritus of the New York State Board of Regents, was presented to the Office of the President, which raised nearly $8,000—or 210 percent of its goal—and ranked first in unit goal, percentage of responses and percentage of contributors. Bennett himself presented the award to Tripathi.
The William R. Greiner Award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates the same level of commitment to the campaign as the late UB president, went to Cynthia Shore of the School of Management.
Jessica Wangelin of Community Relations, who serves as the face of UB’s campaign, received recognition for her efforts from United Way CEO Weiner. He reported that the overall United Way of Buffalo and Erie County campaign has reached 80 percent of its goal, having raised $11 million of the $13.7 million the organization hopes to raise. Dennis Black, UB’s vice president for university life and services, is this year’s United Way campaign chair.
At the close of Thursday’s campaign reception, Tripathi introduced Austin Booth, vice provost for university libraries, as the chair-elect of the 2013-14 UB Employees Campaign. Booth said she plans on picking up right where Weber left off. Weber pointed to his competitive nature in describing how this year’s campaign achieved its goal.
“I know Scott is competitive, but you haven’t seen anything yet,” Booth said to the delight of the crowd.