The faculty gifts came in response to offers from President Gerberding to match faculty contributions of $500 or more for this purpose. Matching funds came from unrestricted gifts to the President's Fund for Excellence.
In 1992, the first time the matching program was offered, faculty members contributed more than $90,000. They contributed more than $200,000 each year in 1993 and 1994. Of the 139 faculty members who contributed in 1994, eleven gave $5,000 or more, including five who gave $10,000 (the maximum amount that could be matched).
"Generating more support for graduate and professional students is a high priority throughout the University," says Gerberding. "No one understands this better than the faculty. I am pleased that sufficient unrestricted gift dollars were available in the last three years to fund this challenge, and I am delighted by the faculty's generous response."
One of the professors who has contributed each year is Rheba de Tornyay, dean emeritus of the School of Nursing. "Students are our lifeblood," says de Tornyay. "Sometimes it is so hard for them to make ends meet. I think as faculty members we need to do whatever we can to help them."
De Tornyay considers herself "triply blessed" because the gifts she and her husband made were matched dollar-for-dollar by President Gerberding, and also matched two-for-one by a private foundation for which she serves on the board of trustees. The gifts and matching funds added to endowed fellowships in the School of Nursing.
"Giving to the University has become sort of a way of life for my husband and me," says de Tornyay, "something we plan on every year. I love this University, and it makes me feel good to give something back."
Send a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.