Higher education is a great investment that has many rewards. It is not always easy to afford the rising cost of tuition and that is why Meth-odist University is holding its 2014 Loyalty Day Scholar-ship campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 25. It is so important that Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson proclaimed Feb. 25 Methodist Loyalty Day.
The idea began in 1955 when the fundraising was done by the community. Indi-viduals would walk door to door and ask for money to start a school at Methodist. “It is an annual tradition that Methodist has been doing since before the school was founded,” said Krista Lee, director of annual funds. “All of this is made possible by our foundation board.” Lee added that the foundation board goes out and recruits team members and they are put into teams and there is a competition to see which team raises the most money. The foundation board is made up of business owners and community leaders from all walks of life in Cumberland County.
The fundraising campaign raises money and 100 percent of the donations are given to students to help them pay for their college education. The students are selected by a myriad of criteria: merit, academics, scores from high school and other components handled through the financial aid office. The goal this year is $150,000. More than 95 percent of Methodist University students receive financial assistance and the University devotes more than 29 percent of its budget to scholar-ships. In the 2012-2013 academic year, Methodist University awarded $17.3 million in financial aid to students. There is also a plan for many major structures on campus to be renovated and exciting new academic and athletic facilities will be built.
“This is the largest fund-raising effort that we do,” said Lee. “We have 136 volunteers in our community who have volunteered to go out and they are given assignments to the people they know in the community.”
Lee added that they talk with people about making a donation to Methodist for student scholarships.
Each year a Loyalty Day supporter of the year is selected. The person selected is someone who has supported Loyalty Day for many, many years. The name of the person will be announced at the Loyalty Day luncheon on Feb. 25. Tim Richardson, area vice president of First Citizens Bank, is the Loyalty Day chair this year and will be speaking at the luncheon.
“You can give cash, checks, stocks and land,” said Lee. “You name it and we will accept it because no amount is too small and every bit makes a difference.” Lee added that there are many individuals in the community that give every year to help Methodist succeed because they see the jewel Methodist is and want to invest in it and help Methodist grow. Please make checks pay-able to Methodist University. For more information call Krista Lee at 630-7169 or email her at email@example.com.
Photo: Each year supporters of Methodist University come together to raise funds that are used to help students pay for education and expenses.