Philanthropy happens year-round at UCF, but employee giving shifts into high gear in January and February. During this time, the annual Faculty & Staff Campaign provides additional opportunities to support the university and celebrate its remarkable 50-year success story.

Like UCF, the employee giving campaign started small and has grown significantly. In 2006 a modest number of College of Engineering and Computer Science employees raised several thousand dollars for campuswide programs. It was the first time a campaign of this type had been attempted at UCF, and the results were promising — but not surprising — to UCF President John C. Hitt. “At UCF, we tend to exceed expectations and then some,” he said.

Today more than 1,200 employees participate in the campaign — approximately 23 percent of UCF’s total employee family. The 2012 campaign reached a participation milestone, with every area on campus being involved for the first time. “For a university of this size to have every division involved is an incredible accomplishment,” said Robert J. Holmes, CEO of the UCF Foundation.

Last year’s campaign raised an all-time high in donations to support a wide variety of programs of the donors’ choosing, including student scholarships, faculty enhancement and other important initiatives. As an additional benefit, donors to the First Generation Scholarship Program had their contributions matched dollar-for-dollar by the state of Florida.

“UCF has one of the highest participation rates for a campaign of this kind, and dollars raised make a big impact on the university,” noted Heather Junod, director of the UCF Fund for the UCF Foundation. “The results of the campaign are a great point of pride when we are out talking to members of the community,” she continued.

John and Martha Hitt proudly participate in the employee campaign every year. “Aside from setting a powerful example for others, our collective giving as university employees unifies us as Knights,” said Hitt at last year’s wrap-up celebration. “UCF’s generous spirit speaks volumes to those outside the university who are current and future supporters of UCF.”

Supporters of the campaign have their own reasons for doing so. Todd Stansbury, vice president and director of athletics, gives to UCF because of “the opportunities it provides young people to become more than what they think is possible.” Trisha Farmer, academic support services coordinator in the College of Arts and Humanities, gives because she “believes in higher education and how it can change a person’s life.”

The Faculty & Staff Campaign kicks off on January 27 with a celebration in the Pegasus Ballroom from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and runs through February 28.

For more information about the campaign, visit