Linda I. Smith (‘98, ‘03), director of annual giving and alumni affairs for UVI.The University of the Virgin Islands alumni and friends are asked to once again lend support to the university’s annual telephone fundraising drive to support academic scholarships for students in need. This year’s telephone fundraising is unique because the UVI Call Center has a permanent home in the Module Building next to the Writing Center on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.
“I am both an alumna and a student of the University of the Virgin Islands who will be graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration on May 11th 2017,” said Call Center Manager Rosan Walters-Mulley (‘14). “I am honored to be a part of the Call Center family, where other students and I will strive to meet the goals of the Call Center.”
More than 20 UVI students will organize and execute the Call Center program to solicit donations from peers, alumni and the public to support UVI student scholarships and university programs. The Center began its efforts on Thursday, March 9, and will run through Friday, June 30. The Center will start again on Sept. 1, and run through Sept. 30.
Three goals for this year are the “55 for 55”: The Great Alumni Challenge, the Great Alumni Challenge Promotion, international scholarships and the Matching Gift Challenge.
“55 for 55”: The Great Alumni Challenge!
UVI is celebrating its Emerald Anniversary with a revolutionary philanthropic initiative. “55 for 55” challenge encourages UVI alumni to make history by achieving a 55 percent alumni giving rate in honor of the institution’s 55th anniversary.
UVI would make history to once again become the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to have an alumni giving rate of over 50 percent within a five-year period.
“In 2013 UVI achieved an alumni giving rate of 51.73 percent, which was the highest contribution rate of any Historically Black College and University in the nation,” said Linda I. Smith (‘98, ‘03), director of annual giving and alumni affairs for UVI. “In 2014 we achieved a giving rate of 52.49 percent.”
The Great Alumni Challenge Promotion
Alumni and friends who make a contribution in the amount of $55 or greater will automatically qualify for the UVI Alumni Challenge Promotion. Winners of the 55th anniversary promotion prize will receive:
- Round-trip ticket for two from the winner’s respective country to Washington, D.C.
- Two nights and three days hotel accommodations in downtown Washington, D.C.
- Two tickets to visit The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on Sept. 24, 2016.
The “55 for 55” campaign is empowering alumni chapters in Caribbean nations to directly fund their very own academic scholarships. Alumni chapters on St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Eustatius and Saba have formalized scholarships that will benefit students from their countries. In honor of their institutional pride, all funds raised for each country will be awarded to a prospective or current student, as directed by the alumni scholarship.
“While I attended UVI, my fellow Kittitian and Nevisians struggled to gain additional funding to support college life,” said St. Clair Hodge ‘10, UVI alumnus. “As international students, the opportunities for scholarships were paper thin, with only one available. As an executive of the UVI Student Government Association, I lobbied for more scholarships for international students but was asked, ‘What is your government doing?’”
“That hit home. I made a commitment that I will do what I can to ensure other nationals did not struggle like we did,” said Hodge. “I was extremely pleased when I heard of the approved scholarship initiative set up by the Alumni Giving Office. This is an excellent way for alumni to participate and for us Kittitians and Nevisians to support our own in a tangible way.”
Matching Gift Challenge
An anonymous donor made a surprise challenge gift in the amount of $55,000. If UVI alumni donate $55,000 collectively, the donor will match the contribution, making the total value of the gift $110,000.
Smith said this year’s Call Center will also reflect the diversity that is present on the UVI campus.
“We have student callers who are from Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts, the U.S. mainland, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and other countries,” Smith said. “This means the Call Center will be multi-lingual as our students speak English, Spanish and Creole.”
UVI alumni and supporters should expect phone calls Monday through Thursday between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Calls will also be made on Sundays between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Donations can also be made online at http://donate.uvi.edu.