University donations have steadily increased in recent years. This trend can be attributed in large part to the Office of University Advancement, which consists of three departments: Development, Alumni Relations and Public Relations. These divisions work together to promote and encourage the continual growth of Sam Houston State University.
“The program is about getting in contact with alumni, updating information and addresses,” said Cindy Truax, who has served as Assistant Director for Development for nearly five years. “We are making a lot more progress, reaching more people and receiving more donations.”
Alumni and friends are contacted by their respective colleges first and asked to give to the department of their major. In general, the college determines how the money is spent to improve their programs. In many cases, alumni can designate where they want the money to go. They can set up general scholarships for their majors, give money to specific programs at the university or donate money to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, said Truax.
Campus Callers is a recent University Advancement project. In its third year, the phone-a-thon and its callers are directly supervised by Brian Jordy. The student-employed program takes place throughout the fall and spring semesters.
“We try to keep 35-40 current students with good speaking voices who enjoy speaking on the phone,” said Truax, who acts as a ambassador, overseeing the direct mail and phone-a-thon donation processes.
“We call 40 to 45,000 alumni and friends each year and donations increase each year,” said Truax. “Average gifts range from $70 to $100 and some are between $1000 and $1500. Major contributors to the university sponsor buildings.”
Faculty and staff that make annual contributions are recognized under SHSU’s Faculty and Staff Honor Roll.
Donators receive donation stickers and are recognized in the department’s fall or winter issue of “Heritage” magazine.
Anyone can donate online at [http://www.shsu.edu/giving] or by contacting the Office of University Advancement.