News Column

Boyd confident ASU will meet fundraising goal

August 6, 2014

By Josh Moon, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.



Aug. 06--Outside of the Lockhart Gym on the campus of Alabama State University, the band, cheerleaders, musical groups and singers performed, while employees, students and alumni milled about eating hotdogs.

Inside, a group of call-takers were fielding calls from supporters from around the country, as cameras streamed the event and interviews with president Gwendolyn Boyd to the school's website.

It was "Sting-a-thon," Boyd said. A first-of-its-kind event for ASU, and part of the "30 Days of ASU" fundraising promotion intended to solicit donations from alumni and supporters.

"There are many times we hear from our alumni out there that they aren't giving because no one asked," Boyd said. "We wanted to make sure that we ask, and we want to make sure that we keep asking. We need their support. The goal is to keep people connected to the university, to keep them engaged."

Boyd said the goal is to raise more than $100,000 during the event, which runs through Friday. An hour into Tuesday's kickoff, she said things looked optimistic that the goal would be reached.

"We've had a great response so far," she said. "We have the event streaming online and that's opened it up nationally. We're getting calls from California, Arizona, all over."

The event also allowed Boyd and her staff the opportunity to paint ASU in a positive light for potential donors. Positivity is something that has been lacking recently at the school, as Gov. Robert Bentley removed two trustees from the university board and nasty accusations flowed.

Boyd wouldn't say whether the turmoil at ASU has caused a dip in donations, instead noting that it hasn't slowed her or her staff down. "We've been moving forward all the time, preparing for the students and getting ready for the fall semester," she said.

The positive response to Tuesday's kickoff might be taken as a sign -- maybe ASU alumni believe Boyd can truly move the school out of its current bad light. In the war of words between two longtime trustees and a new president, maybe the alumni are siding with the new president.

But Boyd just believes they're siding with ASU.

"They want ASU to succeed -- that's why they're giving," said Boyd, who is also an ASU graduate. "I'm on a mission to do whatever I can to help the school, to help the students succeed."

She brought in some volunteer help. A large group of alumni, students, student-athletes and employees were on hand to field calls and accept donations. One of those volunteers, Elmore County Schools Superintendent Jeff Langham, a newly-appointed trustee, said it was a way he could help ASU.

"With my schedule, it's tough to do much," Langham said. "This was one way I could get over here and do a little something to give back and help out. I was happy to do it, happy to help in any way I can."

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(c)2014 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)

Visit the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) at www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)


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