UPIKE thanks employees for philanthropic contributions

Students at the University of Pikeville benefit not only from scholarships and other opportunities made possible by alumni and friends who donate to the university, but also from the benevolent spirit of UPIKE employees. A significant percentage of faculty and staff go beyond offering their time and talent to UPIKE by making financial contributions to the university. To thank employees for their support of students and for helping advance the university’s mission, the UPIKE Office of Advancement recently held a luncheon in their honor.

UPIKE makes thanking all types of donors, including its very own employees, a key priority. This year’s employee donor appreciation event, themed “Because of You,” marked the second of its kind. Employees gathered in the Health Professions Education Building on campus to share a meal and hear messages of gratitude from Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations David R. Hutchens, President Burton J. Webb, and a first-generation college student, Cheikh Ndiaye, whose life has been forever changed by the opportunities afforded to him at UPIKE.

Employee donors were touched by hearing first-hand from Ndiaye, a native of New York, NY, about how their efforts make a difference in students’ lives. Since coming to UPIKE, Ndiaye found his calling in social work, joined the men’s basketball team, became a resident assistant and student ambassador, and joined several clubs on campus.

“I couldn’t be a college student without my scholarships,” said Ndiaye. “My family couldn’t support paying a college tuition, so I rely on scholarships to further my education and take advantage of opportunities that wouldn’t come if I wasn’t able to go to college. I thank everyone who has played a role in my life in terms of scholarships and funding my college tuition, because I could not do this without them.”

Ninety-three percent of first-generation college students like Ndiaye receive institutional scholarships – a statistic, among others, that continues to grow with donor support.

Kelly Wells, UPIKE athletic director and men’s basketball head coach, sees significant value in employee giving.

“I think it is important to give back in general, but especially to an institution that is a change agent for so many,” said Wells. “Giving is one of the foundations of a positive culture and I want to be a part of that positivity. Being able to see the growth and commitment of UPIKE to all our students makes it easy to support the mission. I am blessed to be a small part of this wonderful institution.”

For more information about giving opportunities at UPIKE, visit www.upike.edu/giving.