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URI Faculty and Staff Increase Philanthropic Support

Faculty and staff at the University of Rhode Island have contributed a collective $1.56 million over the past year to support students, research, and programs. This is an annual record for faculty, faculty emeritus, and staff giving, surpassing the previous year’s total as a new committee continues a concerted effort to increase support.

Thirteen members make up the faculty and staff campaign ambassadors, representing a variety of academic fields as well as areas such as Talent Development, student support services, and athletics. The ambassadors tied their initial outreach to URI Day of Giving, and following early success there they continued to inspire philanthropic gifts from colleagues throughout their first year, amounting to $1.44 million. The year-over-year increase—in number of participants as well as amount raised—shows momentum with this important segment of the URI community while contributing to the transformative goals of Big Ideas. Bold Plans. The Campaign for URI.

Linda Welters, professor of fashion merchandising and design, decided to become a faculty-staff ambassador because she wanted to pay it forward. “I remember only too well my own struggles to pay for tuition and books; thus, I like to give to scholarships,” said Welter. “I also support parts of the University that are of special interest to me such as the historic textile and costume collection and Watson House.”

Faculty and staff have a unique vantage point, as they are close to the inner workings of the University and see first-hand the potential—and needs—of students on a day-to-day basis. Their support, in particular, is a vote of confidence in the work and mission of URI.

“I have always felt it is important to help move University initiatives forward,” said Jeffrey Ulricksen MPA ’21, assistant director of spatial services. “As a staff member, an alum, and parent of two students, I want to ensure that others get to experience this wonderful community. That’s why I give and why I serve on this committee.”

The faculty and staff campaign ambassadors will continue their efforts, as hundreds of faculty and staff contribute not only through their dedication to their jobs but also through personal generosity. Their exceptional support drives the important work taking place each day to benefit students and generate new knowledge through research, helping URI to better serve the state, the region, and the world.

The ambassadors represent a broad cross-section of the University. They are Cynthia L. Bonn, dean of Admission; Peg Ferguson Boyd, lecturer, Management; Audrey Cardany, associate professor of Music; Dwight F. Coleman, director, NBC/Inner Space Center; Louis J. Kirschenbaum, professor emeritus, Chemistry, Hillel Board member; Dean Libutti, associate vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Success; Carlos Lopez Estrada, director, Legislative & Government Relations; Michele Martel, assistant director, Assessment & Communication, Talent Development; Brandon Maxwell, admission counselor; Tammi Reiss, head coach, women’s basketball; Jacqui Springer, assistant dean, Student Support and Advocacy Services; as well as Jeff Ulricksen and Linda M. Welters.