UA Launches 2019 United Way Campaign



By Diane Kennedy-Jackson
Publications Coordinator, Division of Community Affairs

The lawn of the President’s Mansion was filled with anticipation on the afternoon of Sept. 19 when The University of Alabama launched its 2019 UA United Way Campaign. Music by the Million Dollar Band greeted more than 250 guests as they gathered under the large white tent that graced the lawn, setting the tone for the afternoon.

The host college for the 2019 campaign is the College of Arts and Sciences, and the theme they chose — The Art and Science of Giving — is fitting not only for the college but for the campus as a whole, which has combined the art of caring with the science of giving to contribute collectively in a manner that has consistently exceeded the annual campaign goal for many years.

Dr. Stuart R. Bell, UA president, greeted those gathered and thanked them for their service, year after year, which helps ensure the success of this annual campaign that supports the United Way of West Alabama (UWWA).

“We, as a University, as a family, believe in giving back to our communities and I am certainly honored that The University of Alabama, year after year, shows our commitment to the United Way of West Alabama,” said Bell. “It’s a statement of who we are as a University that we rise up through our campaign and we serve those around us.”

Campaign co-chairs Charles “Skip” Snead, professor and director of the School of Music, and Dr. David Cruz-Uribe, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, shared that the theme was carefully chosen as an accurate representation of the host unit, and because it shares a two-fold message.

The theme itself reflects the 22 departments and programs that comprise the College — 22 different ways of knowing about the human condition. Our giving and our reasons for giving also reflect all the different ways of knowing. While some are numbers people (the science), others take a more abstract approach (the art).

They shared that one in four people throughout West Alabama, or approximately 190,000 individuals, are benefited by our donations. Further, that money is used incredibly wisely by UWWA, with 90 cents of every dollar donated flowing back to the community. And ultimately, our efforts are about community.

“Every day, in every way, each one of us in our community depends on others to do their part, whatever that part may be,” said Snead. “The United Way is a very tangible process in which we see this connection to our community come together.”

When it was time to reveal this year’s goal of $395,000, a $10,000 increase over the previous year’s goal, Big Al took the lead, running to the podium with an oversized check to unveil the goal amount and make the first pledge, which covered the entire campaign goal. The problem? Big Al doesn’t have any money. That means that we all need to help him meet — or exceed — his pledge!

In addition to the campaign co-chairs, other members of the College of Arts and Sciences staff serving on the campaign are Pamela Young, director of outreach programs and initiatives, who is the loaned executive for the campaign, as well as Stephanie Kirkland, director of college relations, Kaylee Crenshaw, event coordinator and Lynn Phillips, executive secretary.

The campus coordinating committee supporting the College of Arts and Sciences includes representatives from the Division of Community Affairs, the Division of Finance and Operations (UA Printing, Auxiliary Services, and Facilities) and the Division of Strategic Communications, as well as Faculty Senate and the Professional Staff Assembly, the Student Government Association, The SOURCE, The University of Alabama Retirees Association and a host of committee members and department-level coordinators.

The United Way of West Alabama has 26 partner agencies and plays a vitally important role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Partner agencies from Bibb, Fayette, Green, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties provide a variety of education, income-related, health and emergency-response programs to citizens throughout West Alabama.

For more information about United Way of West Alabama, its partner agencies and their services, visit uwwa.org. For information about the UA United Way Campaign, contact Whitney Sewell, Division of Community Affairs, at whitney.sewell@ua.edu or at 205-348-5743.