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We are Levitt. We are 100 percent Phil.

May 20, 2014

Staff of the University of Iowa Foundation and the University of Iowa Alumni Association joined forces to achieve an unprecedented level of giving during their recent We Are Levitt. We Are Phil. fundraising campaign in the Levitt Center for University Advancement.

By: Jen Knights

On Friday, April 25, a celebratory gathering was held around lunchtime in the bright and sunny Wyrick Rotunda in the University of Iowa Levitt Center for University Advancement. It was the final event in a weeklong series of activities to inspire UI Foundation and UI Alumni Association staff to make charitable donations of any size to support the University of Iowa.

This year’s We Are Levitt. We Are Phil. campaign committee set a bold goal of 100 percent participation, meaning every person who works full time at the Levitt Center would make a gift to support some area of the University of Iowa. Employees directed their gifts to support programs, organizations, and initiatives on campus that each finds meaningful—including student scholarships, academic programs and colleges, Hawkeye athletics, research, facilities, the arts, libraries and museums, faculty, and more.

Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation, used the celebration event to announce to staff that the goal had been achieved.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our staff and their personal commitment to advance the mission of our great university,” says Marshall.

How did they do it?

“We invited participation in a number of ways,” says Mundi McCarty, director of development for the UI College of Pharmacy, who co-chaired We Are Levitt. We Are Phil. “We brought in speakers from campus to tell us about their programs, and we hosted a mini art exhibit in our building to showcase the work of students and faculty members. We arranged for food trucks to set up during our lunch hours to bring people together and offered casual-attire days to everyone who gave. We had a lot of fun, but it was also very gratifying to see the outpouring of support from our colleagues for so many programs.”

In addition to McCarty, the campaign was led by Diane Baker, who directs the Iowa Voyagers program for the UI Alumni Association, and Sara Ring, account services administrator at the UI Foundation.

“Because of the work we do in this building,” says Baker, “we have a wonderful culture of giving back. We are grateful to all of our colleagues for giving—especially those who gave for the first time.”

UI Alumni Association President and CEO Vince Nelson also spoke at the celebration event, eliciting cheers and applause by telling attendees, “We Are Levitt. We Are Phil! But more importantly, we are the University of Iowa.”

With all full-time staff members of the two organizations—more than 200 employees altogether—making a financial contribution to the UI in the 2014 fiscal year, the UI Alumni Association and UI Foundation now lead all UI colleges and units in participation percentage. In 2013 their combined participation rate was 84 percent and in 2012 it was 82 percent.

“Even here in our building, where our job is to build support for the university from its alumni and friends, 100 percent seemed like a big goal,” says Ring. “We didn’t know if we could do it, but I’m so pleased that everyone I work with is now also a donor to the University of Iowa. It’s where we should be.”

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The UI Foundation’s mission is to advance the UI and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations. To date, the campaign has raised $1.21 billion.

Event Photos