Teachers are saying “Yes! I Believe” in the future of students

[Disclaimer: It took me a good bit of time to write this article, but I posted it willy-nilly so… I’m editing it. In other words:]
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The teachers at the University of Central Florida have given back to the community this year, in a very big way.

They’ve donated over half a million dollars to the school’s foundation fund through the “Yes! I believe” campaign.

This is the first time in the history of the fund drive that every department participated.

There is some debate among peers as to where the biggest return on this investment can be found.

“From a student’s perspective, they seem to have a pretty good grip on things; with the new building, new equipment,” said Jeff Body, who graduated with a degree in finance in ’11 and has a business management degree from ’06.

He can’t think of anything new students might benefit from that he went without while taking classes.

Student Jason Flowers is currently taking a swing dancing class on Friday nights at UCF. He would like to see a new multi-level car garage replace the parking spaces around the campus.

An employee at Florida State University says the donations should be allocated toward an investment that would allow the fund to grow, instead of spending it right away.

On the board for the FSU foundation, Bobby Jones suggests UCF use the donations to facilitate an office of fellowships. At FSU, it is the one organization students can turn to for scholarship applications and career oriented guidance.

“What can we do to leave a lasting legacy?” Jones asks.

Helping the students, is the answer.

According to the FTE (Full-Time Enrollment) Plan, 70 to 72 percent of students register for graduate programs after completion of their undergraduate studies.

These retention rates show that the faculty is providing lessons with a consistently high pass to fail ratio.

If students graduate from college, then they might understand the need to give back to those who helped them along the way, just as the faculty and staff of UCF do every year with the “Yes! I believe” fund drive.

Catching up with Jones, is Pete McGregor, who shares his thoughts about where the donated half a million dollar sum should end up.

“We should invest it, restrict it until a consensus can be reached by an executive board,” says McGregor.

As easy as it sounds, Jones adds that the money may already be spent, put toward the costs of the campaign itself.

Events were held throughout the year to encourage the staff to donate to a good cause. There were ice cream and cupcake socials in the weeks that led to the final countdown of the fund drive.

Also, on different departmental websites for the school, following a “Give a Gift” logo can lead to a donor application as well.

Over the years, donors have helped students overcome many hurdles in college that would otherwise hinder their success.

The Morgridge International Reading Center, for one, is working with research groups to define and defeat those burdened by illiteracy.

“From 2000 to 2010, researches at UCF contributed more than $1 billion to the regional economy,” the annual foundation report reads. This could be due to the job market opening up to recent grads or this could’ve come straight through the philanthropy of donors.

It’s unclear how the funds were spent last year, but faculty and staff raised over $547,000.

UCF Today quotes this year’s figure at $607,000.

Awareness for the campaign was raised through social media applications such as Facebook or Twitter. Some donors might have let 10 percent of each paycheck go toward helping students.

You can donate that way, too.

The rate at which both the student body and faculty absorb implementations of new media technology demonstrates our willingness to assimilate and conform to group theory. If one person helps another who helps another, they can keep the cycle going for years to come.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case.

Over 1,200 employees contributed to the cause.

If the marketing and business departments of UCF show any less success with the campaign next year, it would come as a surprise.

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