| Wesleyan is donating more than $135,000 to the Middlesex United Way Campaign this year. Middlesex United Way supports critical human care services and county-wide projects that improve community conditions.
Funds were raised through the annual Wesleyan Employee Campaign. This year, 45 percent of all employees made a donation, with the average gift of $252. Wesleyan has 43 staff and faculty members in the Leadership Circle. This year, these leaders gave $65,476 or 48.5 percent of the total.
A number of departments had 100 percent participation including the Center for the Arts, Classical Studies Department, Office of International Studies, Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science, Office of the Registrar and the Religion Department.
Pam Tatge, director of the Center for the Arts, and Frank Kuan, director of community relations at the Center for Community Partnerships served as co-chairs.
This years campaign fell about $6,000 short of the initial goal, but Tatge and Kuan are still pleased with the amount raised. Kuan believes that the economy, rising cost of fuels, and skyrocketing gas prices probably added to individuals’ inability to be as generous.
Although we are short of or stated goal this year, the sum donated is still very significant and will be put to good use to meet critical needs in our communities, Tatge says.
The Wesleyan Employee Campaign still remains in the top three in Middlesex County.
Information Technology Services stood out as the leading department this year. Shawn Hill, ITS desktop support specialist, was a terrific coordinator, Kuan says, raising ITSs participation to 80 percent and increasing giving by $1,400.
Wesleyan has been involved with the campaign for more than 60 years. In 2005, Wesleyan made a record-breaking contribution of $140,018.
In Middlesex County, United Way provides ongoing funding for 35 programs and services including the Amazing Grace Food Pantry, Girl Scouts Connecticut Trail Council Inc., Boy Scouts Connecticut River Council, Inc., Literacy Volunteers of Greater Middletown, Middlesex Hospital Family Advocacy Program, Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater and YMCA of Northern Middlesex County.
Donors to the United Way Wesleyan Employee Campaign had the opportunity to take part in a raffle. The winners and prizes are:
Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, Wesleyan Computer Store gift certificate; Tom DiMauro, analyst programmer, one-day arts workshop at Green Street Arts Center; Judith Brown, professor of history, Center for the Arts tickets and dinner gift certificate to Typhoon Restaurant; Cliff Thornton, associate dean of admission, gift basket from Broad Street Books; Helen Aiello, serials librarian, Wilson tennis racket and tennis balls from Freeman Athletic Center; Carol Scully, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, an overnight stay at Inn at Middletown; and Fernando DeGiovanni, assistant professor of Latin American studies, assistant professor of romance languages and literatures, an overnight stay at Water’s Edge Resort and Spa.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|