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July, 2019

Show Your CUA Spirit with an Annual Fund Gift


By Catherine Lee

  Students work in the Media Studies Lab, updated with money from the  
  Annual Fund.

Catholic University alumna Khadija Jordan remembers when the Media Studies Lab in O’Boyle Hall was stocked with old computers and prone to power outages. By Jordan’s senior year, the lab had been renovated and equipped with powerful new computers and the latest editing software.

Jordan, who took a job in Washington, D.C., after earning her bachelor’s in media studies last year, returns to CUA these days to help with the production of a documentary led by Rachael Storey, clinical assistant professor of media studies, on the 100th anniversary of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Jordan, 23, says the updates “have really helped to facilitate the project” in a way that probably wouldn’t have been possible in the old lab. The renovations were funded by contributions to CUA’s Annual Fund.

The lab updates and other projects covered by the Annual Fund have a direct impact on students and on the university’s daily operations. In 2007, CUA’s Office of University Development is revving up its Faculty and Staff Annual Fund Campaign and striving for a significant increase both in participation and dollars raised.

Robert Sullivan, vice president for university development, says “The faculty and staff campaign strives for the highest degree of participation possible, so that we might demonstrate to other constituents — especially foundations and corporations — that the Catholic University ‘family’ is enthusiastically and generously investing in themselves.”

While Sullivan acknowledges that “all of us — faculty, administration and support staff — already contribute every day to making CUA as good a Catholic university as it can be,” financial contributions from faculty and staff “add value to our work and enable all of us to do our jobs even better.”
Where Does My Money Go?

A donor can designate an “unrestricted gift” to the overall Annual Fund or a gift specifically for Athletics, Campus Ministry, CUA’s libraries or one of the university’s 12 schools. The Annual Fund helps make up the difference between tuition revenue and the actual costs of educating students.

Like other CUA deans, L.R. Poos, head of the School of Arts and Sciences, receives money from the Annual Fund. He says he uses the money to help pay for lectures by outside speakers, poetry readings sponsored by the English department and projects such as the Media Studies Lab renovation.

In 2004, he used money from the Annual Fund for the purchase and installation of new computer software in the language lab at McMahon Hall. The software enables hundreds of CUA students who are studying French, Spanish, German and Italian to converse with their instructors via the Internet.

The Annual Fund, Poos says, allows him “to advance the school in so many ways that I simply couldn’t do otherwise.” One of the most critical uses of the money is “faculty start-up,” he adds.

“Often what induces someone to take a position here rather than somewhere else includes providing things — lab equipment for scientists, graduate assistants for researchers in the social sciences, laptops with special features to run software peculiar to certain disciplines such as economics,” he says. “If I didn’t have the Annual Fund money, I would have nowhere to turn to pay for such things.”

Michael Allen, director of athletics, reports that last fall he used Annual Fund money to buy new soccer goals for the men’s and women’s teams. Contributions from the fund sometimes pay for teams to travel to other colleges and universities to compete during semester breaks.

At the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library, Annual Fund donations have paid for journals and electronic databases in every field of study offered at CUA, says Michael McLane, director of libraries.

A portion of the money raised through the Annual Fund goes to CUA students who receive financial aid from the university. At CUA, more than 92 percent of the students receive some level of financial assistance from the university.

Financial assistance has enabled Catholic University to attract and support high-achieving students like senior Patrick Slattery of Chicago, an architecture and international politics major who says he hopes to design embassies and museums around the world, and junior Samantha McClellan of Canton, Ohio, who is double-majoring in politics and biomedical engineering.

Both students have studied overseas as part of their CUA experience, Slattery in Jerusalem and McClellan in Britain as a participant in the university’s Parliamentary Internship Program. This academic year McClellan is studying the U.S. presidency and the public policymaking process as a presidential fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington. She is one of 65 students selected from around the country by the center.

“Receiving financial aid was one of the deciding factors in my coming to Catholic University,” says McClellan. “Although I loved the school initially, it was because of CUA’s generosity that I was convinced this would be my future alma mater.”  

W. Michael Hendricks: "Go the extra yard" for CUA.

Why Should I Make a Donation?

W. Michael Hendricks, vice president for enrollment management who’s leading the effort to encourage staff contributions, says that a gift to the Annual Fund is a way “of giving back” to a workplace that provides benefits not available to people who work in the corporate world: access to CUA courses, lectures and cultural events and a tuition-free college education for the children of faculty and staff.

Retired CUA nursing professor Betty McFarlane, who is heading up the effort to encourage faculty contributions, says she believes that “by supporting the university financially, faculty members send a message to others that this is a place of value.”

Betty McFarlane: "Send a message to others that this is a place of value."

A longtime contributor to the Annual Fund, McFarlane taught at the university from 1978 to 2004. She earned two advanced degrees at CUA: her master’s in nursing and her doctorate in nursing, in 1976 and 1980, respectively. Two of McFarlane’s three sons also earned degrees at Catholic University.

McFarlane, who still serves on dissertation committees and is active in the School of Nursing Chapter of the CUA Alumni Association, says she has “felt an obligation to give back to Catholic University for the opportunities the institution gave to me.”

Hendricks describes a donation to the Annual Fund “as a way to show your school spirit. When you work in higher ed, you go the extra yard for your college or university.”

How Do I Make a Contribution?

You can have contributions deducted from your paycheck as a one-time gift or on a monthly basis. You also can make a gift online by clicking on

For more information, contact Amy Wilson, director of annual giving, at 202-319-6901 or

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Last Revised 29-Jan-07 11:42 AM.