Honor William Marsh Rice by making a gift this week to the Rice United Way Campaign


Sept. 19 marks the first day of the 2016-17 Rice United Way Campaign, which means that Week One of the campaign will end Sept. 23, the anniversary of the death of William Marsh Rice. In honor of the university’s founder and namesake, the volunteer leaders of Rice’s annual United Way Campaign are appealing to their Rice colleagues to make this the most successful first week in the campaign’s history by making their pledges early.

1021_UNITED-WAY“We like our campaigns to be ‘short and sweet,’ and this year, we’re hoping to wrap up the campaign before the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Professor Herb Ward, the A.J. Foyt Family Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Rice United Way Campaign’s 2016-17 faculty chair. “Getting most of our past donors to renew by the end of the campaign’s first week, and getting some of our first-time donors to do the same, would get us a long way toward that goal.”

“And for those who are giving for the first time, or feel they can increase their pledge this year over what they gave last year, there’s a significant incentive to give early,” said University Representative Y. Ping Sun, the campaign’s lead donors chair. “For a limited time, Rice Board Chairman Bobby Tudor ’82 and his wife, Phoebe, will match any increase over last year’s pledge amount dollar-for-dollar, so first-time donors could have their pledges doubled.” The Tudors have pledged up to $25,000 for this matching fund to encourage first-time donations as well as incremental increases from the campaign’s longtime supporters.

“Mr. Rice gave his entire fortune to establish Houston’s first university,” said Eusebio Franco, director of custodial and grounds in Facilities Engineering and Planning and staff chair for this year’s Rice United Way Campaign. “He saw that his adopted hometown had a need for a great university, and he decided to do something about it, and today, everyone who lives in Houston — even if they don’t work or study at Rice — is better off as a result. I hope that all Rice employees will follow Mr. Rice’s example this week by contributing to the United Way to help do something about our community’s present-day needs.”

“Our campaign goal this year is $250,000,” said Campaign Manager Greg Marshall, director of university relations in the Office of Public Affairs. “Achieving that would put us in the United Way’s top-tier of local institutional donors. We did it last year, and we’re hoping to get there again this year and do it in record time with help from a strong Week-One philanthropic tribute to the memory of William Marsh Rice.”

The options for United Way gifts and pledges remain the same as in past campaigns. Via Esther, Rice employees may authorize automatic payroll deductions that will be divided over all their calendar year 2017 paychecks, or if they wish to give now by check or credit card and earn a 2016 tax year charitable deduction, they may do so using the pledge form available on the campaign web site, unitedway.rice.edu.  (The pledge form may also be used to designate gifts to a specific organization, geographic region or community improvement goal, whether an employee chooses to pledge via the form or online through Esther.)

Results of last year’s campaign, weekly updates on the current year’s campaign, and information on United Way programs and agencies can be found at unitedway.rice.edu.



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