Sam Griffith, president of National Jet Co. in LaVale, Md., and his wife, Pam Griffith, were thinking of their own community when they decided to contribute $15,000 to the FSU Foundation in support of Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg.
“I recognize the impact of the University in our region,” Sam Griffith said. “It’s a force economically, culturally and educationally. I think it’s important to keep this asset local.”
“I’ve always been impressed by the caliber of the students I encounter at Frostburg,” Pam Griffith said.
The insight Griffith gained from his role on two vital boards serving FSU helped guide his gift’s distribution. In particular, as the president of the FSU Foundation’s Board of Directors, he has come to learn of the crucial value of unrestricted gifts, so the bulk of this gift and of the $10,000 they previously contributed toward the Staking Our Claim campaign was designated as such.
“Unrestricted (funds) give us the ability to put the money where it is needed immediately,” Griffith said.
Money that is given with restrictions may only be used for the purposes for which it was designated, such as to a specific scholarship fund, but unrestricted contributions provide the institution with the flexibility required to address the most pressing needs as they appear. When the Foundation board in 2008 sought proposals for the first time to fund new educational projects, Griffith was struck by the range and size of requests the Foundation received, nearly 50 seeking more than $320,000 in all. The Foundation had only $41,000 in unrestricted funds to give. “That really highlighted the need for more unrestricted money,” Griffith said.
“You don’t have to be a graduate of Frostburg to help the University,” he said. “If you live in the region, you should recognize its value to this area. There’s a real need for us to support it.”
The FSU Foundation has embarked upon a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting FSU, visit foundation.frostburg.edu or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.
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