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VSU News

Monday, Oct. 17, 2011

"VSU Can Count on Me"

VSU Can Count on Me


Valdosta State University’s Annual Giving office is scheduled to kick off the 2012 Faculty and Staff Campaign on Monday, Oct. 17.  The campaign’s theme “VSU Can Count on Me” emphasizes the positive message that the future of the university depends on faculty and staff members who choose to make a difference.

“The annual faculty and staff campaign is an opportunity for VSU employees to help enhance academic programs, scholarships, athletics, the arts, and research,” said Karen Johnson, director of annual giving. “The campaign provides a chance for university employees to help make Valdosta State a better university through their financial contributions.”

All of VSU fulltime employees will receive a packet of information that outlines how they can direct financial gifts to the college, department or program of their choice through a variety of payment options, including payroll deduction. Employees may also visit the campaign’s website at http://www.valdosta.edu/fscampaign/ .

“We want faculty and staff to know that their gift, no matter the size, will make a difference,” Johnson said. “There are many of our employees who have given consistently over the years, and those contributions add up.”

During this year’s fall convocation address, Interim President Louis H. Levy recognized Dr. Lamar Pearson, a graduate of Valdosta State and retired history professor, who has given more than $100,000 to VSU during the past 50 years.

“Dr. Pearson is a perfect example of an employee who has made giving to the university a part of his life,” Johnson said. “He never set out to give $100,000, but over the years, he continually made financial gifts to the university.”

With the official start of the 2012 annual campaign, University of Advancement is announcing new giving levels.

“The new levels were established so that everyone who gives financially to the university will be recognized whether it is a one-time gift or a lifetime of giving,” Johnson said. “We want all of our generous donors to know that their financial contribution makes a difference.”

University Giving Levels:

The Pine Society recognizes donors who contribute up to $1,000 annually. The society is appropriately named for the “stately pines” that have been part of Valdosta State’s landscape for more than 100 years.

The West Society recognizes donors who contribute $1,000 to $4,999 annually. The West Society is named in honor of Colonel William Stanley West, who served as president of the Georgia Senate at the time South Georgia State Normal College (now Valdosta State University) was created in 1906. His leadership was instrumental in the formation of the university.

The Rae and Lillian Steele Society will honor donors who support the university with annual gifts of $5,000 to $24,999. The Steele’s were generous benefactors of the university and their $8 million bequest is the largest in VSU’s history. 

The President’s Circle acknowledges donors who make an annual contribution of $25,000 or more.

The Gertude Odum Society recognizes Valdosta State’s current faculty and staff, as well as retirees for lifetime giving of more $10,000. The Odum Society is named in honor of Gertude Odum, a professor of English at Valdosta State for many years, who bequeathed $1 million to the institution in her will.

The Pearson Society recognizes lifetime giving of more than $100,000, and is named in honor of Dr. F. Lamar Pearson, a Valdosta State alumnus and history professor.  Pearson’s gifts to his alma mater have totaled more than $100,000.

The Order of the Dome honors faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university who have made provisions for a gift to Valdosta State within their estate plans. These gifts include bequests, charitable trusts and annuities, and life insurance. 

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Excellence Award Winner

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Karen ShepardAfter 30 years with Valdosta State University, Associate Registrar Karen Shepard said she has done “a little bit of everything” in the registrar’s office.

“I started as a clerk, filing and assisting with various tasks when needed,” Shepard said. “Back when I started, we used much more paper and did less work on the computer, so most of my filing was done manually.”

Shepard has received several promotions since then. She advanced to doing graduation audits, and then to assistant registrar, functioning as office manager of the registrar’s office. She also received a bachelor’s degree in general studies in 1993.

“I served as acting registrar from 1996 to 1997, before accepting a position as associate registrar.”

As associate registrar, Shepard oversees Banner activities, which includes managing tables that support student records, registration, reporting and other office functions. She also offers support to the registrar, Stanley Jones.

Shepard was recently recognized for her exemplary work and dedication to the university when she received the 2011 Excellence in Service for Classified Staff award at this year’s convocation.

“I was very honored because I felt like my peers saw merit in me and what I do at this university. It’s always nice to be recognized.”

Shepard sees this award as a stepping-stone toward future accomplishments in her career.

“It has been a great experience. I’m not a person who objects to change so I’ve been comfortable with the growth and I anticipate more growth in the future.”

Editor Note: This is the fifth in a series featuring the 2011 Faculty and Staff Excellence Award recipients.

Veteran's Day National Roll Call

American flag

On Veterans Day, Valdosta State University faculty, staff, and students will read the names of the 6,200-plus men and women who lost their lives in service to America in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom in the past decade. Valdosta-Lowndes County residents are invited to participate as readers.

The Remembrance Day National Roll Call event, sponsored by VSU’s chapter of Student Veterans of America (VSU Vets), will kick off at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, in front of West Hall on the lawn. VSU Interim President Dr. Louis H. Levy will speak, and then the reading of the names will begin. The process is expected to last about six hours.

This year, Veterans Day, which falls on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year, marks the 10th year of post Sept. 11 combat. The objective is to have students from at least one school in every state read all the names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. To date, colleges and universities in 43 states plus the District of Columbia plan to participate. All of them will pause at the 11th hour, 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, for a minute of silence.

“Reading each and every name of a fallen soldier highlights the importance of the individual lives lost,” said Mark A. Smith, a VSU senior, retired Air Force master sergeant, and president of VSU Vets. “We are privileged to help the nation remember their sacrifices. We are encouraging members of the VSU and Lowndes communities to join us as readers and volunteers for this memorable event.”

The Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education sponsors the Remembrance Day National Roll Call nationally. With more than 12,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries, and eight United States territories, NASPA advocates for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession at colleges and universities. The Veterans Knowledge Community focuses its efforts on student veterans and ensuring that their unique needs are being met. READ MORE

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