Money raised, but where to use it?

Out of the $103.4 million donated to the Centennial Campaign, a huge portion has come from retirees.

This campaign began in 2002 with the goal of raising $120 million toward priority projects devised by the campaign committee, president and provost from a faculty wish list.

“We exceeded the amount already raised that I thought. But I hope the giving doesn’t stop because this campaign is serving to better the University,” said Marcia Latta, campaign director and senior associate vice president for University advancement.

Many people have been part of donating to the huge amount raised such faculty, staff and retirees.

“An estimation of $9.2 million has been donated from faculty, staff and retirees,” Latta said. “But our big donators are the retirees such as Ramona Cormier.”

“I donate money because students need help, programs need to be enhanced and facilities need to be in better condition,” said Romona Cormier, retiree representative for faulty senate.

The Centennial Campaign focuses on priority projects such as scholarships, Athletic Center and Faculty and Staff Endowed Leadership Positions.

The campaign has accomplished many goals such as raising $6.8 million for Athletics, in which the goal is to reach $7 million, Latta said. But some people say money should be raised in other areas such as bettering the facilities on campus and academics rather than athletics.

“I think the campaign is great but they are making an over emphasis on athletics rather than inside the classrooms because some facilities are falling apart,” Cormier said.

Much more emphasis should be put on inside the classroom because it’s important because it’s a facility where students learn, she said.

More money and concern should be put into bettering facilities, said Arthur Samel, associate professor of the geography department.

“Since we have this campaign and new buildings are being built, what about the current buildings that are in horrific condition such as Hannah Hall, Mosley Hall and South Hall?” Samel said.

Cormier and Samel agreed the campaign is resourceful but some of the priority projects to the campaign is not top priority to some faculty.

“In Hannah Hall where I teach we melt when it’s hot, we freeze when it’s cold and the air is stale,” Samel said. “I thought the building was to be renovated a decade ago.”

Also, some students agree and question how there is construction being done while old buildings are ignored.

“Some of the halls are literally falling apart such as Hannah and Mosley hall,” said Nicole Johnson, junior. “Since I’ve been here the conditions are getting worse in some facilities while it seems the University is still raising money to fund the destruction of Saddlemire but the construction of Wolf Center for the Arts.”

The Centennial Campaign has until December of 2008 to reach their goal. Latta said to reach the goal, department chairs and faculty and staff must take part in spreading the word around for donations and to collaborate with retirees.

“Staff can help the campaign reach its goal by including campaign information in department newsletters and to give,” Latta said. “But most importantly include the retirees in upcoming holiday gatherings and communications.”

Latta said it is important the retirees be included with recent staff because they left an impact on students and the University.

Also Latta pointed out, the retirees are still big time donors to the campaign so they are still part of the continuing success on campus. But even though some retirees are still active in the University, current faculty or staff don’t want to work with them.

“They’re just not interested in us like we are to them,” Cormier said. “They should want to collaborate with us to find wisdom and insight from us so that a continuing growth will happen in the classrooms.”

When Cormier was the president of retirees she said she tried to get the faculty to collaborate with the retirees but she was unsuccessful because the faculty did not want to include them.