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SUU In View - Spring 2002 - Capital Campaign Opening Doors | Alumni | SUU
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SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2002)

Charting A New Millennium Capital Campaign opening doors for SUU students

SUU has entered the final phase of its five-year, $42 million Capital Campaign.

The campaign, "Charting a New Millennium," focuses on a number of needs of the University, but most pointedly on expanding the doors of education to allow more students an economic opportunity to gain a degree. More than 50 percent of the campaign is intended to assist students with the rising cost of a higher education.

To date in the current campaign, some $32.5 million has been given or pledged to the University. Scholarship endowments have been enhanced by nearly $10 million; academic programs by $3.4 million; land acquisitions/building projects by $4.7 million; existing programs, such as the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Utah Summer Games and Thunderbird Athletic Club, by $12.2 million; and unrestricted/ planned gifts by $2.1 million.

"Our most pressing need continues to be in the area of scholarships, with some $12 million still to be donated," President Steven D. Bennion says.

Also, particularly important is the need for aid to academic programs, still short $2.6 million. The need includes funds for named professorships, the Honors Program, faculty development, teaching awards, service learning, technology and equipment, and innovative programs, all of which would provide a stronger base for instruction.

Students and prospective students continue to be in the most urgent need of assistance. "Many of our students on this residential campus come from families of modest economic means, so the importance of scholarships is particularly critical here," Jack Jenks, executive director of development, says. Cedar City's Dixie Leavitt, long among the University's most ardent supporters, is the campaign chairman.

Those involved with the campaign, including SUU Vice President for Advancement and Regional Services Stuart Jones, ('86, Political Science/Business) agree that the University's students need assistance in financing their studies to stay at SUU. "It is a considerable challenge for many of the high-quality students who seek to attend SUU. Modest personal and family means, combined with the related costs of attending a residential campus, are just a few of the factors that make increased resources so critical. By providing the scholarship and grant opportunities necessary to attract and retain high-quality, deserving students, and by offering meaningful work opportunities and valuable real-world experiences to students," Jones says, "through mentoring, internship, assistantship and other work programs, we will keep the doors of the University open to these many deserving students, an effort that stands as the Institution's top fund-raising priority."

Jenks finds the willingness to give by a myriad of people both heartwarming and encouraging. "I'm impressed that we have a very broad base of givers to the University. It is a very diversified group of people, coming from various backgrounds and situations."

By taking advantage of the many different avenues available for making planned gifts to an institution of higher learning, SUU's generous and thoughtful donors are able to provide meaningful and lasting contributions to the University, its pressing needs and its students.

In terms of academic needs, investing additional resources in the learning environment at SUU will help enrich the lives of students, Jenks explains, by supplying funds to assist in a number of distinct areas. Building an interdisciplinary Honors Program will meet current and future needs for bright and highly motivated students. Enhancing support for faculty members through such endeavors as providing teaching awards, recognition for distinguished professors and extending additional learning opportunities to campus teachers, while at the same time establishing innovative new educational programs to further challenge the University's students, will ensure that SUU continues its pursuit of academic excellence while significantly improving the overall learning experience.

As part of its "Charting a New Millennium" campaign, SUU invites those who would consider a planned gift to "create a legacy" to do their part to ensure that succeeding generations of students at Utah's Academic Sanctuary will continue to enjoy the benefits of higher education.

Types of planned gifts include the following:

Although the large or "major" gifts get most of the attention and publicity in capital campaigns, Jenks emphasizes that there is no gift too small to give. "Some people may have the impression that only six and seven figure gifts make a difference. Although these large gifts are certainly essential to the successful completion of a capital campaign, one of the goals of the campaign is to get as many people, companies and organizations participating as possible." It is the desire of SUU's administration, according to Jenks, that every person who believes in the mission of SUU be encouraged to get involved by making a gift, whether large or small.

"There is the cliché 'every cent makes a difference,'" Jenks remarks, "but nowhere is this seen to be more true than when helping a student obtain a higher education."

President Steven D. Bennion adds, "We invite all alumni and friends of SUU to participate in this vital endeavor…to help open the doors of educational opportunity, and keep them open for our wonderful students." The president captures the spirit of SUU's Campaign, and the philosophy of those who contribute, by reciting the quote: "If there be any true measure of a man than what he does, it must be what he gives."

Eva and Howard R. Driggs and Clara and H. Perry Driggs Endowments Established

Perry Driggs Jr. just announced the establishment of two endowments for students at SUU.

Perry's father, H. Perry Driggs Sr., has designated the scholarships to be awarded in honor of his parents, Eva and Howard R. Driggs, and in honor of his late wife, Clara, and himself. The amount provided for the scholarships will be $75,000, to be paid from Perry Sr.'s estate.

Perry Jr. writes, "Dad is very pleased to be able to do this for such a fine University."

Perry Driggs Sr. is a fundamental part of the history of SUU, as his father, Howard, was a member of the first faculty of the school, and his brother, H. Wayne Driggs, served as director (president) for six years.

A man of singular accomplishment in his own right, Perry has spent a lifetime in a variety of creative pursuits. A pioneer in Utah radio, he was an executive for KSL Radio and co-founder of KVOG Radio in Ogden. He also was a key account manager for the largest advertising agency in the world and a member of the NYU faculty for six years. A magician, an illustrator, and cartoonist as well, he has spent a great deal of time and energy on two of his great passions: the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, Mo., and the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Ill. His lifelong interest in education, as well as his familial loyalties to SUU, have led him to generously establish two endowments here. His wife of 66 years, Clara, who worked alongside him in many of his life's endeavors, passed away in March 2001.

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Last Update: Thursday, February 05, 2009