Wesleyan Raises More Than 136,000 for United Way

Posted 04/04/08
Wesleyan raised $136,098.32 this year to support the Middlesex United Way, topping last year’s campaign total. The campaign supports critical human care services and county-wide projects that address the top concerns of local residents: housing, mental health and substance abuse.

Funds were raised through the annual Wesleyan Employee Campaign. This year, 498 employees and 24 vendors participated. Of these, 99 were new givers and 125 individuals increased their gift from the previous year.

“Although we are short of our stated goal this year, our campaign garnered terrific results,” says Karen Collins, 2007-08 campaign chair and chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. “This money will be used to meet critical needs in our communities. I can’t thank all Wesleyan gift-givers enough for your much-needed support.”

According to the United Way of America, Wesleyan ranks first in per capita giving, second in average gift and fifth in total dollars among public and private universities served by similar sized United Ways. Locally, Wesleyan ranks third in total giving.

About 40 employees and three vendors were in the Leadership Circle, giving gifts of $1,000 or more. The total of their gifts amounted to $67,000.

Departments with 100 percent contribution include Classical Studies, International Studies, Physics, Office of the Registrar and Department of Religion.

Wesleyan is one of 310 businesses and organizations in the area participating in the Employee Campaign. Last year, these businesses, along with more than 8,600 residents raised $2.1 million for the campaign. Wesleyan has been involved with the campaign for more than 60 years and returns as a Silver Sponsor in 2007/08.

“Workplace campaigns are a great morale booster for employees, providing a unique opportunity for co-workers to join together in a common goal that benefits their local community,” explains Andy Heuer, Middlesex United Way resource development director.

Middlesex United Way supports several local agencies including the American Red Cross, Community Health Center Miles of Smiles Program, the Middlesex Hospital Parental Program, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater, Women and Families Center/Central Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Service and YMCA of Northern Middlesex County, among others.

“Organizations that work in Middlesex County through United Way provide fundamental support to people and families in need,” says Employee Campaign giver Adrian Cooke, web administrator for University Relations. “I wanted to give back what I can to my community. It’s the least I could do.”

Donors to the United Way Wesleyan Employee Campaign had the opportunity to take part in a raffle. The winners and prizes are:

Rommel Guadalupe, assistant director of institutional research, won an overnight stay and breakfast at the Inn at Middletown; Kirsten Carlson, administrative assistant in the Physical Education Department, received a Wilson tennis racket and tennis balls; John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, won a gift basket from Broad Street Books; Susan Krajewski, assistant registrar, was awarded four tickets to any Center for the Arts event; Karen Collins received free enrollment in a one-day arts workshop at the Green Street Arts Center; and Cooke won a $100 gift certificate to the Wesleyan Computer Store.

More information on the Middlesex United Way is online at http://www.middlesexunitedway.org/

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor