At a gala celebration honoring leading donors during the recent Leadership and Homecoming Weekend, Frostburg State University and the FSU Foundation, Inc., set the stage for the final push of Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg. With less than a year left to go, the campaign is less than $1.2 million short of its $15 million goal.
“We owe it to those who have come before us to continue Frostburg’s legacy of putting quality education within reach of students who will benefit from a college degree and make the most of it,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter to the approximately 130 guests assembled in the historic Lyric Theatre on Main Street in Frostburg. “Persistence is what has led Frostburg State to where it is today. It is what will continue to push this institution to redefine itself as a distinctive and distinguished university.”
As of Nov. 4, $13.8 million had been raised in the campaign, 92 percent of the goal, including $3 million since last year’s Leadership and Homecoming Weekend. The Staking Our Claim campaign will come to a close June 30, 2011.
“This evening is an opportunity to consider how we will ensure the future of this fine institution that each of us embraces with admiration and affection,” FSUF President Sam Griffith told the gathering, “to determine what our collective legacy will be in moving this University to a level of national prominence.”
Several individuals and organizations were additionally singled out for recognition. Special honorees during the evening included:
• Carey and Mary Beth Fisher were honored for their leadership support of the unrestricted Annual Fund. Carey is a 1975 Frostburg graduate and Mary Beth graduated in 1976. Their support of the Annual Fund dates back 20 years, and they have given more than $30,000 over the course of the campaign.
• The corporate honoree was Daly Computers, represented by Daly’s CEO Ryan Yu and his wife, Daly legal counsel Margaret Yu. The Yus and their colleagues learned about FSU through Daly’s business relationship, providing many of the computers that are used by the University. Daly has provided $25,000 in scholarship funds, much of which has supported FSU’s growing transfer population.
• Sandi Saville was the first donor under a new program called Presidential Merit Scholarships, created with the intention of recruiting more high academic achievers to FSU. With a $25,000 commitment she established the Sandra K. Saville Presidential Merit Scholarship for the Arts to benefit aspiring artists.
• Dennis and Dawn Thomas, longtime supporters of leadership initiatives at FSU, most recently establishing the Dennis and Dawn Thomas Presidential Leadership Scholarship, benefiting members of the FSU President’s Leadership Circle who have an interest in public policy and public service. They were introduced by Robert Kesler, the inaugural recipient of their scholarship.
• Carl “Bucky” and Jane Belt, with the Belt Group of Companies, made a significant campaign gift to be divided between athletics, which rely solely on gifts and student fees for support, and unrestricted funds. Bucky Belt is also a member of the FSU Foundation Board of Directors and the campaign steering committee.
Gibralter praised those who were honored, saying, “You have been heroes to our students, who above all else, are the reason for everything we seek to accomplish at Frostburg State University.”
Attendees were treated to performances by the FSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, soprano and FSU junior Britany Poindexter and a clarinet duet by Assistant Professor Mark Gallagher and his student, Sarah Galvin. A gourmet meal was provided by Aramark, created by award-winning Executive Chef Greg Carter.
Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg is raising 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.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.