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Updated 10:00 AM February 13, 2006




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Faculty, staff giving goes to Heart of the Michigan Difference

The Office of University Development today (Feb. 13) introduced The Heart of the Michigan Difference—a campaign initiative to celebrate faculty and staff giving and encourage future generosity.
Associate Dean of Students Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and former Provost Paul N. Courant are co-spokespersons of The Heart of the Michigan Difference campaign announced today (Feb. 13). (Photo by Lin Jones, U-M Photo Services)

Since the launch of The Michigan Difference campaign in 2004 an estimated 21 percent of faculty and staff have contributed a remarkable $42 million in support of student scholarships, faculty endowments, academic and cultural programs, as well as building renovations and construction. The breadth of their giving highlights the many important ways individuals can make a difference to advance the University's world-class stature, campaign organizers say.

"No one understands Michigan—our needs, our opportunities, our past and our future—better than the people who make their lives here," says former Provost Paul N. Courant, professor of economics and public policy. "In my 32 years at Michigan, the University has always found a way to support our best ideas and our highest aspirations.

"The ability to deliver on that commitment to excellence is increasingly dependent on private contributions, and I hope that members of our community will do their share and more."

Courant serves as The Heart of the Michigan Difference co-spokesperson with Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, associate dean of students. The Heart of the Michigan Difference will be promoted through a series of print advertisements, profiling faculty and staff donors and their unique reasons for giving back. The ads will appear in University publications, including the Record, and throughout the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses.

Giving stories from a number of contributors also will be featured at The site provides additional details on why and how to give, including payroll deductions, pledges, estate gifts and more.

"All gifts, no matter the size, from our faculty and staff are of tremendous value to the University and play a critical part sustaining the quality of a Michigan education," says Pinder-Amaker, noting that while there is no dollar goal for faculty and staff giving, The Heart of the Michigan Difference seeks to increase participation throughout the University community.

A number of schools, colleges and campuses already have begun their own faculty and staff fundraising programs. The Heart of the Michigan Difference has been created to complement these endeavors. In recognition for their contributions, faculty and staff supporters will receive The Heart of the Michigan Difference lapel pin and be invited to planned events throughout the year.

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