The University of West Georgia recently concluded its annual A Day to Give West – known as A Day – campaign, notching more than $1 million in gifts to support the university’s annual giving efforts.
The $1,000,496 raised will support scholarships, enhancements to campus, laboratory equipment, recreational activities, and other initiatives and programs. The final amount makes the 2020 campaign, conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the second-largest in the university’s history.
Dr. Meredith N. Brunen, vice president for University Advancement at UWG, said A Day is a celebration of what can be accomplished when UWG is engaged with, championed by, and working alongside its communities.
“Our community truly rose to the occasion and showcased their commitment to and support of UWG, and for that, we are thankful,” Brunen said. “Since A Day’s beginnings in 1982, we’ve blossomed from a college into the university we are today: one that has flourished as a direct result of the support from the communities we serve.”
Christy Sammon served as chair of the 2020 campaign, with Dr. Stacy Boyd and Melanie McLean serving as co-chairs of the campaign for UWG faculty and staff.
“Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to pivot, get creative and still raise an outstanding amount in a unique year,” Sammon said. “During my 20 years of involvement with A Day, the communities we serve have always been generous, so I was honored to be chair this year and am so proud of the University of West Georgia and what it means to our community.”
The A Day campaign originated in October 1982, when then-West Georgia College introduced a new fundraising concept in which the collective university community championed its West Georgia Annual Fund.
Bob Stone, founder and chairman of the board of SMI, served as a co-chair of that inaugural campaign. This year, Stone said he was glad to hear of the “tremendous support” that resulted in another $1 million year for A Day.
“Over the years, I have seen the effect of A Day funds on so many aspects of our university and students’ experiences,” Stone said. “A Day began and continues to be a testament to the amazing support UWG receives from our community.”
UWG students participated in the campaign, as well, raising more than $3,400 in the Mr. and Miss A Day competition. In this event, 10 students represented various student organizations in an online campaign challenge to benefit student scholarships.
Nichole Fannin, executive director of development at UWG, said opportunities for philanthropy like A Day make it possible not only to instruct and enlighten students but to inspire them to make a positive impact on the world.
“The impact this campaign makes in the lives of our students is almost immeasurable,” Fannin said. “We are so proud to be stewards of a campaign that showcases the mutually beneficial relationships between UWG and the regional community.”
Photography by Miranda Daniel and Julia Mothersole