Rice United Way Campaign breaks previous record


By Greg Marshall

The 2017-18 Rice United Way Campaign has eclipsed its quarter-million-dollar goal by 14 percent, setting a new fundraising record of $285,076 and qualifying Rice for United Way’s Chairman’s Division, the top-level giving society.

United Way“Especially this year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, when the need in our community is greater than it ever has been, it was important that Rice employees step up and give back,” said President David Leebron, honorary campaign chairman. “I am immensely proud and grateful that so many of our campus colleagues did so, and gave so generously to the United Way, in addition to the many other ways that Rice helped the community during and after the flooding.”

“The worst of Mother Nature really did bring out the best of human nature,” said the campaign’s faculty chair, Mikki Hebl, the Martha and H. Malcolm Lovett Chair of Psychology and professor of management in the Jones Graduate School of Business. “We knew that many of our own Rice community members sustained losses during Harvey and might not be in a position to support the campaign this year, while others might have given directly to other Harvey-related recovery charities before our campaign even began, so it’s especially remarkable that our campus colleagues came through with such an impressive level of support for local United Way programs. We are extremely grateful.”

The campaign’s lead donors chair, University Representative Y. Ping Sun, agreed. “With help from a matching gift challenge provided by Rice Board of Trustees Chairman Bobby Tudor and his wife, Phoebe, Rice was able to bring in more than $25,000 in new and increased donations this year, making it possible for us to set a fundraising record.”

A total of 937 campus campaign contributions were received, paced by the Facilities Engineering and Planning Division, which had 145 donations and a divisional participation rate of more than 53 percent. The School of Social Sciences led the campus in funds raised, with nearly $31,000 contributed. The George R. Brown School of Engineering had the most lead donors and Club 21 donors (representing gifts of $1,000 and $500, respectively). Three campus divisions achieved 100 percent campaign participation: the Office of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Investments Division and the Office of Public Affairs.

The Rice United Way Campaign is led by a volunteer committee headed by honorary chairs Leebron and Tudor ’82, lead donors chair Sun, faculty chair Hebl, staff chair Eusebio Franco of Facilities Engineering and Planning, and campaign manager Greg Marshall ’86 of Public Affairs. Representing campus campaign divisions as committee vice chairs for 2017-18 were: Academic Affairs, Roland Smith; Administration, Renee Block; Architecture, Will Cannady; Athletics, Rick Mello; Baker Institute, Ben Stevens; Jones School, Josh Lunow; Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Anne Tai; Development and Alumni Affairs, Emily Schrieber and Abby Platt; George R. Brown School of Engineering, Dave Van Kleeck; Facilities Engineering and Planning, Bart Salmon and Richard Johnson ’92; Finance, Gerilyn Gordon; Fondren Library, Mary Brower and Keith Chapman; Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Pia Byrd; Housing and Dining, Diana DeSantiago; School of Humanities, Lora Wildenthal; Information Technology, Mike Dewey; Investments, Darren Britt; Shepherd School of Music, Jenn Overton; Wiess School of Natural Sciences, Rachel Miller; President’s Office, Ryan Kirksey; Provost’s Office, Jana Callan; Public Affairs, Kaitlyn DuBose; Office of Research, Krystal Toups; School of Social Sciences, Alex Wyatt; and Strategic Initiatives, Meredith Allison.

While Rice’s campaign efforts are now officially concluded for the year, the United Way of Greater Houston continues to accept contributions throughout the spring semester; Rice employees who want to contribute may have their pledges added to the university’s record-setting total by visiting unitedway.rice.edu.

United Way





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