In the summer of 2015, I was approached by CSUN’s University Advancement to participate in a video that would be shown to other CSUN employees. In the video I was asked to explain why I give back to the University. The goal of the video, and the campaign that it would be promoting, was to “create a culture of philanthropy among CSUN employees by providing them with an opportunity to participate in the growth and development of CSUN.” I was honored to be featured in that video as a 2015 CSUN Faculty and Staff Campaign Ambassador, along with my colleague Dr. Ray Calnan from the Department of Real Estate.
As ambassadors we were asked to promote the campaign, to share information, and to answer questions. In the Oviatt Library, I gathered a small team of colleagues: Michael Barrett, Gabriel Castaneda, James Lunsford, Lindsay Hansen, and Luann Rocha to help me with this effort. My thanks go to them for their involvement. I attended several standing meetings in the Library where I made short presentations about the campaign. I also asked Luann Rocha, the Library’s Director of Development, for a list of the specific funds that could be supported in the Oviatt. Some of those options included: the purchase of materials for the general collection; student scholarships; Library innovation; the Friends of the Oviatt Library; and Special Collections and Archives.
The Oviatt already had a number of employee donors who participate in a variety of ways and for a number of reasons. For example, I personally give back to the Library because I like to support areas that interest me, as well as provide assistance to students who sometimes come from difficult circumstances and can barely make ends meet. Asked why he gives, another long-time Library employee and donor says, “I donate to the university to help sponsor the Oviatt Library. Being at the heart of the campus - it’s where students can find camaraderie and support.” The campaign, which ran from September 14 through October 16, 2015, also inspired other Library employees to give for the first time. “Working in the Library everyday it is clear to see how the Oviatt’s research assistance, scholarships, and programming help students to achieve their academic goals,” says one staff member. “I chose to give back to the Oviatt during the 2015 Faculty and Staff Campaign, because it felt good - even in a small way - to help provide funding for some of those important resources.”
My hope is that similar campaigns in the future will also help inspire increased philanthropy; not only from people who work in the Oviatt Library, but also from alumni and community friends as well.
Group Photo of Library Faculty and Staff - September 2015