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October 15, 1998

Pitt kicks off United Way drive

Pitt's 1998 United Way campaign kicked off yesterday with a breakfast for coordinators held at the William Pitt Union. The campaign will continue through Nov. 25. This year's goal is $500,000. Last year, the University collected just over $474,000, surpassing the 1997 goal by $32,000.

The 1998 theme is "Make a world of difference in your hometown — Give the United Way." In yesterday's letter to the campus community, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg wrote that the United Way campaign provides "an opportunity for us to give something back to southwestern Pennsylvania." He urged members of the Pitt family to contribute "so that the blessings of this region can be extended to those among us who desperately need a helping hand." Participants can make an unrestricted gift to the United Way, or can direct all or a portion of their donation into five different general categories or to a specific United Way affiliated group, including 18 groups at Pitt and the UPMC Health System. Payroll deduction, direct payment and direct billing options are available to Pitt employees. The five general categories to which gifts can be directed are nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, supporting older people, promoting health and wellness, and increasing self-sufficiency.

Pitt/UPMC United Way programs and their codes include: After school care, 3222; Albright Professorship, 9574; breast cancer research, 830; University Child Development Center, 1280; children's neurosurgery project, 4645; Cleft-palate Craniofacial Center, 234; Eugene N. Myers Chair in Otolaryngology, 888946; Eye and Ear Institute, 2593; Eye and Ear Institute Ambulatory Service Corp., 4387; Generations Together, 574; Jannetta Research Fund, 3943; National History of AIDS, 1955; University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2331; School of Medicine/general research, 2305; Schwentker Endowment in Urologic Surgery, 9239; Sotereanos Endowment, 9138; Speech and Hearing Clinic, 1228, and Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute, 9537.

Of the gifts by Pitt employees, students and retirees last year, 47 percent went to a specific agency and 13 percent to services related to children, families, health and wellness, and senior citizens. The remaining 40 percent of the gifts were undesignated, a large increase from years past, according to Sue Steele of Institutional Advancement, who is Pitt's United Way campaign manager.

Steele also said that students' participation and enthusiasm has grown tremendously. During the 1996 campaign, students contributed $600. Last year, Steele said, the students raised $20,000. Students plan a 5K race, co-sponsored by the Department of Athletics, and a Greeks-sponsored dance marathon to raise funds.

In addition to Steele, members of the 1998 United Way campaign steering committee include: Bob Harkins, Parking, Transportation and Services, who is campaign chairperson; co-chairs Dennis Donham, Student Affairs; George Klinzing, Provost Area; Jeff Masnick, Budget and Financial Planning, UPMC; and John Wilds, Governmental Relations; and members Michelle Garraux, University Graphics and Marketing; Lynn McCarthy, Institutional Advancement, Heidi Pallof, Parking, Transportation and Services; and Steve Zupcic, Pitt Volunteer Pool. Paul Solyan, retired comptroller, heads the retirees campaign. As usual, the campaign includes a prize program. More than 100 prizes, including two round-trip USAirways tickets to anywhere in the continental United States, will be awarded from all pledge forms returned, with or without a pledge. There will be an "early-bird" drawing on Oct. 23, a mid-campaign drawing on Nov. 11 and a final drawing for prizes on Nov. 25.

New this year will be weekly World Wide Web campaign updates, which can be accessed at

Last year's campaign was awarded the Outstanding Performance Award for a Model Campaign and received the Silver Award from the United Way for per capita giving in the $50-100 range.

–Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 31 Issue 4

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