The University of Alabama held its 2017 United Way Campaign Kickoff on Oct. 18 at the University Medical Center. The event brought together University and United Way officials to share the plan for another successful campaign.
UA’s College of Community Health Sciences is this year’s host college for the campaign. Dr. Rick Streiffer, dean of the college, said the CCHS faculty and staff are pleased to have been named the host.
“All of us, our families or other friends need the services of the United Way on any given day and in unanticipated ways,” Streiffer said. “There isn’t a day that goes by that our providers aren’t working with people who have needs for so many of the agencies that are supported by the United Way.”
The goal for this year’s campaign, which was exceeded last year, is $375,000. The campaign’s theme is “The Heart of UA: United for Community, Caring, Health and Service.”
UA President Stuart R. Bell and former gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson were in attendance, giving words of encouragement to all involved in the campaign. Both previously have been involved with the United Way.
Bell and his wife, Susan, have been involved actively with the United Way since his last stint at UA in the 1980s and ’90s. Susan previously served on the United Way board at LSU and now does so at UA.
“To be a part of a community that is so caring and is willing to give back and to make an impact in our community is such a remarkable feeling,” Bell said. “It is not that way everywhere, and I think that’s one of the things that makes Tuscaloosa such a wonderful community. We’re always willing to give back so many times over.”
Patterson serves as chair for the campaign and has donated generously to the United Way. She said she would like to make sure the University reaches its goal and continues to lead the Southeastern Conference in giving to the United Way.
“The University of Alabama has been my home for 39 years,” Patterson said. “I just want to help you achieve your goal and help all the people in Tuscaloosa because it is my home.”
There are 39 partner agencies involved in the campaign. They are community businesses that have committed to support UA and the United Way.
The dates to turn in donation cards are Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10 and Nov. 17. The cards are to be turned in to Caroline Railsback, UA United Way campaign treasurer in Rose Administration Building room 303.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.