Carl and Jane Belt, along with the Belt Construction Group of Companies, have expressed their commitment to Frostburg State University through the FSU Foundation with a generous pledge that places them in the Foundation’s Lillian C. Compton Society, denoting yearly contributions of $5,000 or more.
Carl Belt, president of the Belt Group, is a member of the steering committee for Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, which is working to raise $15 million in support of FSU by 2011.
“We see the need for FSU to remain a healthy, growing institution and we want to help carry that legacy forward for others to benefit and enjoy,” said Carl “Bucky” Belt. “We believe FSU is an important asset to our community because it offers first-class educational opportunities at a value to local and regional Maryland residents.”
“As one of the larger employers in the area, FSU is a major economic engine and cultural center within our community,” said Jane Belt.
More than half of the gift will go to support athletics. FSU has 21 Division III varsity athletic teams. Division III schools cannot grant scholarships based on athletic merit, so FSU’s student-athletes must fund their education under the same terms as every other Frostburg student.
“Student-athletes, especially Division III athletes, participate in their sports truly for the love of the game,” said Troy Dell, FSU’s athletic director. “I see first-hand how these students blossom, learning tremendous time-management skills. They’re used to being held accountable, which translates into graduates with leadership abilities and a proven work ethic.”
None of FSU’s athletic programs can be funded with state funds, so all the money for athletics must come from private donations and the athletic fee that students pay, Dell said.
“I have known numerous people who have been introduced to and developed leadership skills, team-building techniques and family values through participation in athletic programs,” Carl Belt said. “I was aware of FSU’s athletic program funding shortfalls and felt inspired to help the professional leaders and student athletes in this program.”
The rest of the Belts’ gift will go to unrestricted funds, which provide the institution with the flexibility required to address the most pressing needs as they appear.
“We would like others to think about the value FSU brings to our region and how it has touched their lives and others in our community, throughout Maryland and around the world,” the Belts said. “We encourage them to support this campaign so that the FSU legacy passed to us might enrich the lives of others who will become our community leaders of tomorrow.”
Carl Belt continued, “I have noticed that a significant number of graduates have become leaders and outstanding professionals in a variety of vocations that you would not imagine, since it was primarily a teacher education school until the mid-70s. This speaks to the fine basic education being offered at FSU and the passion and commitment of the faculty to transform lives, nourish excellence and promote personal development.”
The Belt family and companies have a long history with Frostburg State University, including Bucky Belt’s father, Carl Belt Sr., who was among the founding members of the FSU Foundation and whose company built many of the buildings on the campus.
The FSU Foundation has embarked on a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Donations to the Foundation support student scholarships and programs, academic programs, faculty development and other critical University needs. For more information about supporting FSU, visit foundation.frostburg.edu or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu.