OXFORD, Miss. – Faculty and staff at the University of Mississippi not only serve in classrooms, offices and buildings throughout the campus, but they also have contributed more than $1.4 million of their own resources toward the university’s MomentUM campaign.

More than 700 current faculty and staff have given or pledged $1.46 million since Jan. 1, 2005, according to UM Foundation figures released this week.

"It’s extraordinary that our employees, who give so much of their time and effort to Ole Miss, also give back in this way," said Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor for university relations. "These gifts illustrate the deep dedication of our faculty and staff and their commitment to our students and their success. It is heartwarming."

The gifts are part of the MomentUM campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. The campaign, which ends in December, already has raised more than $170 million for scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford campus. Also in the plan is a cancer center at the Medical Center in Jackson.

While the campaign is geared toward specific initiatives, faculty and staff have given to a number of other areas of need on the Oxford campus.

John O’Haver, associate professor of chemical engineering, said he gives regularly to the School of Engineering for several reasons:

"First, I believe in what we are doing here, and want to do what I can to help this university be better and better. Second, I want to be able to challenge my students upon graduation to give back. I think it is more effective if I can say, ‘Yes, I give too.’ Third, most of our students came here on significant scholarships and I would like to help make that possible for future generations."

Others are also giving through their estates. For example, Charles Noyes, professor emeritus of English, has indicated that he will bequeath a portion of his estate to UM, and pharmacy Dean Barbara Wells and her husband, Richard M. Wells, have named the university as beneficiary of a life insurance policy to create the first endowed pharmacy professorship.

To help other UM employees understand how they might make similar gifts, a series of planned-giving seminars are to be offered through the UM Office of Human Resources this spring. Seminar dates will be publicized as they become available.

For more information about giving to UM, visit
http://www.umfoundation.com. For more information about the MomentUM Campaign, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/momentum.