July 5, 2013 Alumna Development Director on the Impacts of Giving

A reflection by Director of Development, Amy Howard.

As an alumna of the graduate architecture program, Amy Howard, the development director of the College of Architecture and Design, brings to her position a unique perspective, one that understands the role of giving to students and the faculty and projects that shape their lives.

Howard’s knowledge about the influence of private and corporate gifts to a design education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, comes after reflection of her own experiences. Her opportunity to work with world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and explore design and research projects were only achieved through the generosity of others.

“Less than 30 percent of the university’s budget is provided by the state, leaving the remaining 70 percent to be funded through private gifts and sponsored projects,” said Howard. “The steep decline in state funding has left state-aided universities to face the challenge of how to fulfill their missions with fewer dollars.

“As a college, we must find ways to invest in the faculty who mold our students, the facilities they occupy, and the opportunities that enhance the education we provide.”

There are several ways that alumni, friends, and businesses can support the college. Giving can be made through support of an endowment, creation of professorships and scholarships, or sponsoring a studio course engaged in specific curricular goals.

Support may also be given through smaller gifts. These contributions, collectively, can make a substantial impression to the life and learning that happens at the college.

“The recent establishment of the Dean’s Excellence Fund allows contributions to make an immediate impact and support a wide variety of student, faculty, and college-wide initiatives,” said Howard. “Gifts to this fund provide student scholarships, faculty excellence and development awards, travel opportunities, technology upgrades, alumni activities, and many other meaningful opportunities for people across our community to engage in.”

Howard understands the role the college must take to give back to its community, too. There are presently several initiatives underway that will better connect alumni and industry-stakeholders back to the college.

“As we enter a new year, there are many things our alumni and friends can expect to see,” she said. “The college will be releasing a new website to better communicate about our events and host a series of alumni activities to introduce Dean Scott Poole, share college updates, and allow our alumni to rekindle relationships with classmates.”

To learn more about upcoming alumni events or to make a gift to the college, please contact Amy Howard at  Pledges and giving may also be completed online through a secure giving site hosted by the UT Office of Alumni Affairs here.