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$20K already in from faculty, staffBy Kelly Griffith
Black and gold balloons and pompons decorated tables in the UC lounge April 7 as the pep band played the UNCP fight song and some 150 faculty and staff ate hotdogs with all the fix-ins.
The occasion was the alumni association and advancement office’s campaign kick-off to gather faculty and staff support for the Braves football team coming in 2007.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors joined in the festivities, eating a hotdog and chatting with James Bass, head of the alumni association, before addressing the faculty and staff on the benefits of football.
“It would be good for the university community,” Meadors said. “Football is not an entity that exists in itself. It spreads out.”
Football will bring enrollment growth, leading to more jobs and more money for the university, Meadors said.
Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the town of Pembroke also would grow when football arrives.
She said students commuting home on the weekends have made it hard for shops to open up.
Clark said shops could not exist on a four-day week. “When you’ve got football, you’ve got a seven-day week,” Clark said.
Vice Chancellor for Advancement Sandra K. Waterkotte said the First and Ten Campaign had been extended to faculty and staff to bring attention to the financial need as well as offer the opportunity to meet head football coach Pete Shinnick.
Waterkotte said she hoped to get more of the UNCP community excited about football. “There’s no better way to get people excited than free food,” Waterkotte said.
The advancement office hopes to raise $50,000 from faculty and staff in order to name the coach’s office.
The faculty and staff would chose a name and sponsors would have their names on the office’s outside wall, Waterkotte said.
According to Scott Bigelow, associate director for University Relations, $20,000 has already been raised through gifts and five year pledges. However, he said those donations are not nailed down yet.
Through the Braves Club, faculty and staff that give will receive benefits.
• $100 annually – Faculty and staff become members of the Braves Club, a VIP booster club for athletics.
This includes a decal, the opportunity to buy season tickets, a point system to accumulate priority seating at football games and the invitation to exclusive events.
• $250 annually – Faculty and staff receive a Braves Club membership and have their name engraved on a 4” x 8” brick in the courtyard by the football field.
• $500 annually – Faculty and staff gain membership to the Braves Club and have their name on a more prominent 8” x 8” engraved brick in the courtyard.
• $1,000 annually – Faculty and staff get membership to the Braves Club and the Chancellor’s Club, the most exclusive giving club on campus, and also have their name on an 8” x 8” brick.
Waterkotte said faculty and staff could donate a lump sum or through monthly payroll deductions of $8.33, $20.83, $41.63 or $83.33.
Blake Tyner, administrative secretary for the Art Department, said the football team will take the university back to its roots.
“I’m a history person and we used to have a wonderful team,” Tyner said. “We are getting back what we lost.”
Tyner said he and University Engineer Bess Tyner, plan to support Braves football through monthly payroll deductions.
Coach Shinnick said the university has signed seven players with 50 more committed.
“Obviously, we won’t be able to sign them all,” Shinnick said.
However, he hopes to take a third of the 60-100 students wanting to play that start in the fall.
Football will have a positive effect on the campus and the community, and will heighten the college experience for all students, Shinnick said.
Mark Schulman and Robert Kelley contributed to this story.