Teamwork: Crossing The Finish Line

Kathy Dean Experience, Spring 2015

Whatever your goal, wherever you set your finish line, you probably had some help getting there.

 

Maybe you have your own personal pit crew who refuels you for the next lap, helping you fine-tune your engine so you can keep moving ahead.

 

Or you are blessed with friends and family who believe in you enough to stand beside the road on a hot summer day, ready to hand you a bottle of water as you run your first 5k.

 

The University of Mobile has a team of supporters as well. With the fiscal year end finish line just ahead, those supporters are more important than ever in helping the school meet its budget by June 30, 2015.

 

“Year-end giving is critical to what we are able to do at the University of Mobile. We count on our donors in order to do everything from provide university scholarships to deserving students, to keeping the lights on,” said Bill Hart, associate vice president for development.

 

Carol Camp, associate vice president for business affairs, said year-end giving is the boost that “brings us to the finish line.”

 

As a private Christian college, UMobile doesn’t have state or federal funding. That puts the school in the category of “tuition-driven,” meaning it relies primarily on tuition to meet the budget. But tuition alone can’t cover the cost of a college education.

 

“You can successfully execute a limited education on tuition and fees, but you can’t progress and expand,” Hart explained.

 

In order to keep the cost of tuition competitive, tuition-driven schools must rely on donations to make up the difference between what the school can  charge for tuition, and what it actually costs to provide a college education. Private grants and endowments help by funding certain scholarships or programs, but they can’t make up the entire difference.

 

That’s where supporters – donors – are so important. In fact, if it weren’t for the annual  contributions of supporters and gifts designated for specific programs or construction of buildings, there would be nothing on the UMobile campus except for the first building, Weaver Hall.

 

Even that wouldn’t exist, nor would the university, as much of the school’s land was donated. Weaver Hall itself was built through gifts from Alabama Baptists wanting Christian higher education to be available to the next generation.

 

Each gift is important. Whether the gifts are large or small, designated for a particular area or unrestricted for the university to use to meet pressing needs, each donation adds to the growth and development of the University of Mobile.

 

“The people on the University of Mobile team give because they see value in the Christian higher education the school provides. Maybe they received a scholarship while they attended and know first-hand how that helped them, and they want to pay it forward and help a current student. They may want to honor a loved one by creating or adding to an endowed scholarship. Or they have a particular interest and the ability to make a major donation to purchase or construct a building,” Hart said.

 

Hart said any time is a good time to consider a tax-deductible gift to the university. Gifts received by June 30 will count toward contributions received during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

 

For information about giving opportunities or to make a donation by credit card, call Bill Hart in the Development Office at 251.442.2223, or go online to giving.umobile.edu. Donations may be mailed to Development Office, University of Mobile, 5735 College Parkway, Mobile, AL 36613-2842.
About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning media relations director and former journalist whose expertise has enabled the University of Mobile to gain national and regional attention. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Auburn University and worked as a journalist for 12 years, including 10 years at the Mobile Press-Register, earning regional and national awards for coverage of education, deadline reporting and feature writing. She joined the University of Mobile staff in 1993, earning awards for writing and public relations including the Baptist Communicators Association grand prize for feature writing in 2015 and 2012. She is a charter member of Providence United Methodist Church, serves on the board of the John Will Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from the University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.