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Annual ‘A Day for Southern’ fundraiser is set for Tuesday

Volunteers to visit many local businesses

Volunteers from around the community will set out Tuesday to continue a tradition as the Statesboro and Bulloch County community and Georgia Southern University collaborate for the 40th annual "A Day for Southern" campaign.

The volunteers will visit with local businesses and ask for donations to aid the university with costs not covered by state funds. The longstanding tradition symbolizes a great partnership between the Statesboro-Bulloch community and the university, according to President Dr. Brooks A. Keel.

"To have a campaign like this remain successful for 40 years truly is remarkable," Keel said. "The campaign not only symbolizes the strong partnership between the community and Georgia Southern, but also is a testament to the community's dedication to the future of the University and its students."

The campaign is a joint effort between the Georgia Southern University Foundation and the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation. The first campaign raised more than $60,000, and since 1998, the campaign has raised more than $1 million annually. Like other institutions around the state, Georgia Southern has faced state-mandated budget cuts that make support from donors vital.

Last year, the campaign raised $1,417,799.

"The generosity of this community continues to amaze us year after year," said Salinda Arthur, the vice president of university advancement. "The community's support of this campaign plays a vital role in the university's ability to provide scholarship opportunities for students, support and development for faculty, staff and students, championship athletics and much more."

In addition, "A Day for Southern" provides support for cultural programs that enrich Bulloch and surrounding counties including the Museum, Center for Wildlife Education, the Garden of the Coastal Plain, the Performing Arts Center and the Symphony.

Last month, a study released by the University System of Georgia revealed that Georgia Southern had a $524 million impact on Statesboro and the Bulloch County area, and accounted for more than 6,500 jobs in the 2012 fiscal year. Much of that impact came from student spending in local businesses.

"We are so proud of what this university contributes to our community, and are grateful for the tremendous support we receive in return," Keel added.

Director of Annual Giving Alex Grovenstein also noted the strong bond between the University and community is admired throughout the country.

"A lot of other universities around the country try to emulate ‘A Day for Southern,' but they don't have the success we have," Grovenstein said. "We receive calls from universities throughout the country asking how our campaign is so successful, and I tell them that you must have strong support from the community. A lot of places aren't as fortunate as we are to have such support and belief in the future of the University and students."

Faculty, staff and students also donate to the university during the on-campus phase of the campaign. In previous years, many campus departments have had 100 percent participation, a testament to their commitment to the continued growth and mission of Georgia Southern.

Community volunteers, along with members of the university's leadership, will visit businesses and contacts throughout the day. Individuals who wish to contribute to "A Day for Southern" but are not contacted by a volunteer may stop by the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

 

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