University of the Virgin Islands alumni have another chance to make history. UVI has issued the “Countdown to History: The Great UVI Alumni 30 Day Challenge.” In 2012, University of the Virgin Islands alumni were challenged to increase the alumni giving rate by 50 percent for the University’s 50th anniversary, as part of the “50 for 50 Challenge.” Though unable to reach this goal, UVI alumni made history with a 42 percent alumni giving rate and were awarded the 2013 HBCU Alumni Association of the Year. This time, UVI Alumni have until Sept. 30, to achieve a record breaking 50 percent alumni giving rate.
Since the beginning of fiscal year 2012-2013, UVI has been working to achieve a 50 percent alumni giving rate with the “First to 50 Challenge.” “No other HBCU in history has ever achieved this feat,” said Linda I. Smith, UVI’s director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs. “Last year, in UVI’s inaugural campaign to make a record, the University fell short by eight points, where other institutions have been trying for 100 years or more to achieve it.” Reaching 50 percent is even more important now that a donor has committed to give UVI $10,000 if its alumni can reach the 50 percent goal.
This challenge is open to College of the Virgin Islands/UVI alumni:
- who have not honored his/her current pledge made through the UVI Alumni and Friends calling program launched during Charter Month 2013 – March 1, 2013
- first-time contributors
- donors who make a gift of $100 or more and qualify for the “Proud We Are” collector’s item promotion. They will receive a copy of UVI’s first history book.
- UVI employees and alumni
- honorary gifts which are gifts made by friends or supporters on behalf of an alum
UVI is reaching out to alumni wherever they are. On Sept. 23 through 25, UVI will hold the Alumni Phonathon. UVI administrators, staff, alumni and student volunteers will place more than 7,000 calls to UVI alumni in the territory and abroad from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Volunteers will update alumni contact information and ask alumni to pledge their financial support to their alma mater.
Pledges can be restricted or unrestricted. Restricted gifts are earmarked to be spent for specific programs or areas of interest to the donor, such as academic or athletic scholarships, the Reichhold Center for the Arts, VI-EPSCoR research, summer enrichment programs, academic divisions, or the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands. Unrestricted gifts are used to support areas of greatest need within the University. Alumni gifts make it possible to improve campus life and enhance the overall experience for students.
“Education is necessary in these hard economic times,” said Smith who quoted Ann Frank – “‘No one has ever become poor by giving.’” “That has always remained with me. The more you bless others the more you are blessed. If everyone can understand that principal of giving it would truly make a difference.”
Smith said if you can’t afford a large donation make a small gift. “As alumni and a community, I believe we can achieve this challenge,” said Smith. “Any amount would do. The cost of a cup of coffee or bush tea is considered a contribution and still makes an overall impact.” She said the $10,000 gift challenge is not something she can walk away from. “We have had matching gift challenges before and we have met them,” she said. “I am calling on all alumni notably in areas where there is a large concentration of alums including, the U.S Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin, Dominica, the Washington D.C. Metro area and the South Atlantic Region. Your valued support is needed. The time to rally around this challenge is now.”
To make a contribution to the University of the Virgin Islands, please contact UVI’s Institutional Advancement Office at (340) 693-1040 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made on UVI’s website at www.uvi.edu or from this direct link: UVI donation .Gifts can be made to the UVI Business Office on both campuses and checks can be mailed to: #2 Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, V.I. 00802-9990 or to University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen Campus-St. Croix, RR1, 10,000, Kingshill, USVI 00850-9781.