UMSL staff members (from left) Melissa Hattman, Dora Griffin and Larry Westermeyer sign the “UMSL Be Inspired” Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign banner at the campaign kickoff on Aug. 31. They wrote their names and the names of UMSL programs they support. Thirty-five of last year's 350 contributors have volunteered to visit department meetings across campus in the month of September, and will hold a UMSL Be Inspired Victory Celebration on Oct. 4 for all those who join the campaign.

Scattered around the campus at the University of Missouri–St. Louis you’ll find more than 350 employees who give back a piece of their paycheck to the university. Why? Lots of reasons, but running through all of their stories is a passion for the work they do.

“We have a tradition of faculty, student and staff shared governance at UMSL, which I have found very rewarding to be a part of,” said Matt Keefer, associate professor of educational psychology, research and evaluation.

Keefer and Jessie Bridges, administrative associate in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, are co-chairing “UMSL Be Inspired,” a new faculty and staff giving campaign.

According to all reports, this is the first comprehensive department-by-department faculty and staff campaign to be held at UMSL. It will continue through the month and end with a victory celebration Oct. 4. A campaign video is posted online and features faculty and staff who have given to various units around campus and who volunteered to tell their very personal stories.

Bridges gives because of UMSL’s students.

“I’m inspired by their commitment and determination to succeed,” she said. “My contribution means I care enough to put my money where my concerns are.”

Dr. Edward Bennett, associate professor of optometry, said he’s inspired by the “gift of vision” and joins his colleagues in donating to a fund for patients who cannot afford specialty contact lenses.

Julia Gleason, administrative associate at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, loves the performing arts and is inspired by the university’s outreach programs and the hundreds of children who get to see their first live performance at the Touhill. “It’s rewarding to see the future of performing arts being nurtured here.”

Watch for your colleagues this month as they visit each department around campus. They want to hear what inspires you.

All donors to this year’s campaign will be listed in the Chancellor’s Holiday Card and are invited to the Oct. 4 celebration. Gifts can be designated for a particular department or program. To contribute online visit: gift.umsl.edu. For more information call Greg Nelson at 4735, Maggie Myers at 5852 or Scott Simmons at 4732.

Click here or below to watch a video by Alicia Hottle-Sippy about the “UMSL Be Inspired” campaign.

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Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

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