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A Spirit of Giving 

Faculty and staff fuel donations to UAlbany Fund 

Fardin Sanai, vice president for University Advancement and the executive director of The University at Albany Foundation, addresses faculty and staff donors at the 2018 reception. (Photos by Paul Miller) 

President Havidán Rodríguez and his wife, Rosy Lopez, greet faculty and staff at last year's breakfast reception. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 14, 2019) — For some it’s a tribute to a life-changing college experience. For some, it’s a desire to support the next generation of graduates. Still others are looking to send a message about the importance of public education.

About 700 faculty and staff at UAlbany gave to the UAlbany Fund this year – and they likely have about 700 different reasons.

“I give to UAlbany as a staff member, an alum and a citizen who believes in the transformative power of public higher education,” said Corinna Ripps Schaming, interim director and curator of the University Art Museum. “Our students inspire me to want to give back. I see them and I see the future.”

For Lisa-Anne Donohue, the University’s director of environmental health and safety, donating to the UAlbany Fund is a way to give back to the place that’s been central to her life for more than four decades.

“I received a great education at the University, as an undergraduate and graduate, which has enabled me to advance in my 37-year professional career in the University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office,” she said. “I also met the love of my life over 43 years ago on Indian Quad, and have been married to him for close to 39 years. I feel it is important to give back to the place where I have literally spent some of the happiest times of my life.”

Donohue and Ripps Schaming are two of the 36 faculty and staff UAlbany Fund Ambassadors, people who not only donate to the University but share their reasons with colleagues, encouraging them to also give.

Another Ambassador is Patrick Romain, a senior academic advisor in the EOP program. Romain said he gives because of how EOP changed his own life and continues to change the lives of students by giving them the opportunity to attend college.

“Working here at the University and being on the Alumni Board helped me realize how we could really make a difference, and so I want to pay it forward,” he said.

Gifts to the UAlbany Fund can be in any amount. Some people put aside a dollar a week though payroll deduction, while others make a one-time gift, large or small. Donations may be designated to a specific school, college, department or program, and can also be given in support of student scholarships, groups or services. Or donors can support the University Progress Fund, which provides flexibility and can be used wherever the need is greatest.

Of the nearly 700 staff and faculty donors, nearly 100 are giving at the $1,000 level, making them members of the 1844 Society.

Romain said that, as an ambassador, he has encouraged more than 20 colleagues to donate, some at the 1844 Society level. But any amount helps, he said.

“If people understand how a few dollars can change a student’s life then they would all give back because this is what it’s all about,” Romain said. “Giving back and paying it forward.”

Faculty and staff donors are being celebrated Feb. 21 at an invitation-only breakfast reception in the Campus Center, where they will be recognized and thanked for their philanthropic support of UAlbany’s student and campus programs.

If you are interested in making a donation to the UAlbany Fund, visit www.albany.edu/giving or contact Lisa Gonzalez at 437-4511 or lgonzalez@albany.edu. Donations are tax-deductible and, more importantly, are a direct investment in UAlbany students.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.