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Donor reception celebrates success of employee fundraising campaign

Thursday’s reception in recognition of campus donors to the Annual Giving Program was the biggest yet, according to development officer Mona Dosen.

“We had a record number of people in attendance,” she said. “I think a lot of people wanted to see the new garden.”

As the culmination of this year’s fundraising campaign on the theme “Plant a seed,” Facility Services revamped a garden outside the Leddy Library, including one bed planted with a Lancer shield.

“They did a wonderful job,” Dosen said. “It is breathtaking.”

The design incorporates more than 670 individual plants, one for each faculty, staff or retiree contributor. University officials participated in a symbolic planting ceremony and expressed their appreciation for the employee support.

“This year, we raised over $278,000 from our faculty, staff and retirees in support of student scholarships and faculty and departmental priority projects across the campus,” said president Alan Wildeman. “We are seeing continuing increases in participation and the size of the average gift. Over the last three years of the facetime strategy, we have raised $780,000, thanks to all the volunteer canvassers and donors who have made this campaign a success.”

Vice-president university advancement Jonathan Braniff called the program the “cornerstone” of his department’s fundraising efforts.

“Strong internal support helps strengthen our case when reaching out to alumni, friends, corporations and foundations for their financial backing,” he said. “Every time you walk by this garden, each of you should feel a unique sense of pride and fulfillment.”

Giuseppe Bonasso, a systems technical support assistant in the Leddy Library, said it was the example of a colleague that inspired his current pledge.

“I originally started giving because of the Karen Needham scholarship,” he said. The fund, which supports an award directed to high school students from Windsor-Essex entering their first year of study, honours a 25-year employee of the Leddy Library who died in February 2010.

Bonasso won a prize draw at Thursday’s reception, giving him naming rights to commemorative bench on the UWindsor campus. He hasn’t yet decided on the text to engrave on the personalized plaque.

“It’s interesting,” he said Friday afternoon. “I have been thinking about it ever since I won.”