We have entered into a multi-year strategic plan at St. Thomas, within which priorities and goals are tied to one of five themes. The critical theme of One University recognizes the importance of a unified community of faculty and staff working together to fulfill our mission. I am glad this was included in the strategic plan, but I know from experience – from my days as a student (don’t you dare ask when that was) and through 24 years as an employee – that One University is already at work. At the core of every employee is the notion we are working to fulfill St. Thomas’ mission.

Every year, I personally witness this community coming together through the Faculty and Staff Annual Campaign. Time and again, this community’s generosity reaches new heights. Our rate of participation at 50 percent or more each year skyrockets St. Thomas to the top of the list of all other faculty and staff campaigns among Minnesota private colleges and universities (three years running!).

These are nice accolades to receive, but how does this relate to fulfilling our mission of educating students? As more and more employees have banded together over the years to support this campaign, new initiatives were created that support every student, every day. The Non-Exempt Staff Council created a scholarship for students of non-exempt employees who are studying abroad. Looking for a way to memorialize one of their colleagues, IRT established a scholarship for students working in their area. Just last spring, Physical Plant funded a scholarship for students as well. Other funds established by Public Safety and Institutional Advancement also benefit students and our community.

The 2015 Faculty and Staff Annual Campaign provides us with another opportunity to demonstrate One University. Last year, the St. Thomas campaign achieved 57 percent participation. I want to recognize three areas on campus for achieving 100 percent participation:

  • Enrollment Services
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Institutional Advancement

Many other departments reached 50 percent or better participation:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • President’s Staff
  • School of Law
  • Human Resources
  • Business Affairs

The 2015 Faculty and Staff Annual Campaign will kick off in March. You will receive campaign materials through intercampus mail. Gifts can be made via cash, check, credit card or payroll deduction. Our campaign has never focused on how much people give, only that they participate! You also have the ability to designate where your gift will go. The campaign runs through June 30.

If you have any questions about making a gift or the status of a current payroll deduction, please feel free to contact John Bannigan at jfbannigan@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-6982.

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