UHV employees give back to support university
Despite the recent pandemic and the struggles that many people have experienced during the past year, the University of Houston-Victoria’s employee giving campaign has seen its second-highest number of donors in a year.
During the university’s fiscal year from Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, UHV’s One For All, All For One employee giving campaign received donations from 225 donors, about 48 percent of the university’s employees. Throughout the year, employees donated $68,500 to 71 departments, programs and initiatives.
“UHV is fortunate to have so many generous employees who understand the importance of supporting our students and higher education,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “I am grateful to see their dedication to helping our institution and its students succeed.”
The campaign began in 2006 to encourage employees to give back to the university by making a gift of any size. Through the campaign, donors can designate what their contributions will benefit, such as scholarships, the student food pantry, specific UHV departments and student emergency assistance funds.
Thirty of the 225 employees who gave to the campaign during the previous year were part of the President’s Circle. These employees donated at least 1 percent of their gross annual pay to the university through the campaign.
Some of the funds that received the most contributions from employees included JP’s Market student food pantry, the Student Emergency Fund and scholarship funds for each of the university’s three academic schools. Contributions could be any amount, and individual employee donors gave from $1 to $4,800 during the 2021 fiscal year. The contributions from so many individuals show how the university’s employees believe in UHV’s mission of offering a quality, affordable higher education to students, said Kelsey Norgard, campaign coordinator and UHV director of alumni relations and annual giving.
“We are so thankful for these contributions, especially in the midst of what was a challenging time for people across the nation and around the world,” Norgard said. “This is a clear statement from UHV’s faculty and staff that they care about our students and want to help them succeed. There are so many programs and scholarships that offer resources for students, and they wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the generosity of these employees.”
For Elise Hendricker, UHV associate professor of school psychology and social and behavioral sciences division chair, the decision to support UHV students was an easy one. In the past, she has contributed to funds that included the food pantry and the Student Emergency Fund. However, she and other members of the university’s school psychology faculty wanted to create a targeted fund to support students in the school psychology program.
About five years ago, after working with staff in UHV University Advancement, she and other faculty members created a new fund that goes toward scholarships for students to attend conferences and other professional events that students otherwise could not afford. She and other faculty members contribute a small amount each month, about the same as they would spend on a meal at a fast food restaurant. But all of those small contributions add up to a large show of support for students who have had the opportunity to attend conferences and workshops and network with others in the school psychology field during the past five years thanks to this fund.
“A large part of educational success has to do with the opportunities that people receive,” Hendricker said. “By contributing to this and other funds, we are increasing the availability of opportunities for our students. As faculty and staff members, we have a responsibility to support and encourage our students. This campaign gives us a chance to put our money where our mouth is. When our students see that we are supporting them, they become more invested in their studies.”
On Sept. 9, the university launched the 2021-2022 One for All, All for One campaign.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.