Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 7, 1997

Faculty, staff plug capital campaign

by Anne Dolan
Campaign Destiny: The Drive From Within, officially gets under way this month when 100-plus volunteers--current and retired employees--begin to seek pledges from their peers. The goal of this "internal" component of Iowa State's five- year capital campaign is $10 million, more than $3 million of which already is in.

Inside Iowa State talked with a few employees who are campaign volunteers and/or donors. Here's what they say about why they choose to put their money into higher education at Iowa State:

"For me, it's a question of how we value what we do here at the university and what we can add to the quality of the lives of our students when they leave here. My own college education added a lot to my life, personally and professionally. To do the same for others is a worthwhile thing.

"We give to this university in a lot of ways. Our professional effort is one way, but we should show our support in as many ways as possible -- including contributions to the campaign. It's not an issue of how much you give, but more that you participate and show your support."

"I feel very fortunate to work here. I have been treated really well by everyone at Iowa State and I give to give something back to the university.

"I want this university to be prosperous."

"I really believe in this institution and the students we reach. The time we put into our jobs is a service to them, but we can further their personal and professional growth with our contributions.

"Every day I pass a marble wall, on which is a quote from Daniel Webster about the immortality of reaching students, that it is more lasting than working on brass or rearing temples. What we can give to ISU students, through service or money, is a gift that lasts."

"In a sense, it's an unprofitable business we're in. For example, in engineering we invest $200,000 in a graduate student over six years or $30,000 in an undergraduate student in state and federal supported tuition and fees, and then we simply "give" these talented and trained individuals "away." Our "products" have tremendous societal value but no tangible market value for the university. Fundamentally, then, what must motivate people to work at ISU are things other than financial gain (even though we are well paid), which might be a motivation in private industry.

As a university, particularly a public university, we depend on a breadth of income streams to support the work we do. The state and taxpayers will support us, but as faculty and staff we have to support our mission, too, and I believe that giving begins at home."

"I came here as a single parent with two little children and no marketable skills. Iowa State gave me the skills to get a good job and raise my children. Historically, education has been the single most important factor in individuals' lives and in a culture's life. I ended up working here as well, so I see that every day in my work with students -- not just honors students.

"The legacy we can give Iowa State is beyond working 40 or 60 hours a week. To allow the real enrichment to occur, that takes money. We give our time and our talents on the job, but giving of our treasury, that completes the deal."

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