For Terrie Easter Sheen and Martha Whitehead, two of the five co-chairs of this year’s Campus Community Appeal, giving back to Queen’s is a natural response to needs they see all around them.
“In my role in Gender Studies, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of places like Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, the Ban Righ Centre and the Human Rights Office,” says Terrie. “Only through philanthropy can we ensure Queen’s continues to provide much-needed services to students, staff and faculty.”
Martha, Vice-Provost and University Librarian, believes the university is alive with stories – not only of exceptional learning experiences and groundbreaking research, but of the history of Queen’s, Kingston and Canada. “People who care deeply about this rich tapestry of stories are generously supporting initiatives that will enable Queen’s to continue having an impact for generations to come,” she says.
Both co-chairs note that employees give back to the university every day through their invaluable service. This provides them with a unique perspective on where their dollars are most needed – and gifts to the annual Campus Community Appeal can be designated to any program or initiative at Queen’s.
Each co-chair shares what motivates them as volunteers, as well as their personal reasons for giving:
What drew you to this volunteer position as Co-Chair for the Campus Community Appeal?
Terrie Easter Sheen: I was a mature student for many years, and as a way in which to thank and “give back” to Queen’s, I began gifting immediately upon my graduation.
Martha Whitehead: I wanted to help support good causes and acknowledge the donors we have on campus. We benefit so much from each other, and there can never be enough opportunities to say thank you.
What project(s) do you support with your gifts to Queen’s?
TES: I support the Ban Righ Centre and the Gender Studies Department.
MW: One of the things I appreciate most about Queen's is our commitment to helping students whose financial circumstances are a barrier, so I like to give to the Student Financial Assistance Fund.
What would you say to someone who was considering a gift to Queen’s?
TES: Not only is Queen’s my alma mater, I have worked at Queen’s for my entire life. If the person were also a Queen’s employee, I would let them know what a real privilege it is to work and learn every day at this institution. Giving back is one way to show it.
MW: I would say, “Your gift is a personal investment in our current and future generations. It makes a difference, and it is hugely appreciated.”
Every year, in November and March, current and retired staff and faculty members at Queen’s volunteer their time and leadership to encourage their colleagues’ participation in the Campus Community Appeal. The appeal has a direct impact across campus, supporting programs and initiatives that enrich the teaching and learning environment. Gifts may be designated to almost any area of need: from student assistance to mental health and wellness, faculty programs, the library, archives, community outreach and more. The Campus Community Appeal is an important part of the $500-million Initiative Campaign.