An astounding new sense of family, togetherness and shared-beliefs is sweeping through the faculty and staff of your alma mater.

Chick-fil-A cow helps Roy Lowdenback, Laura Owsley celebrate

Brilliantly called “The Family Campaign,” this latest effort to encourage employees to give back to the institution (for which they toil) has more than doubled in no time – which is beyond Chief Development Officer Roy Lowdenback’s wildest dreams. “To have the percentage of giving internally go from 30 percent to more than 65 percent in a matter of days is phenomenal!,” he said.

But, credit the wild, fun and sincere approach of Lowdenback ‘05 and sidekick Laura Owsley ’92, Director of Annual Giving. Beginning mid-March, one was likely to hear – out of the blue– hand-clapping, bell-ringing and loudly proclaiming “Jim Gives! Jim Cares!…Jim Gives! Jim Cares!”

Lowdenback “borrowed” this idea from his graduate days at Bowling Green State University. And, having lived the “Georgetown experience” and been a president of the student body, he couldn’t wait to try it at his alma mater. “Georgetown College is a family,” he said with conviction. “Though our backgrounds, job responsibilities and even opinions differ at times, we all contribute to the unique G.C. student experience. We are joined together by a commitment to our students, to each other, and the great history and tradition of this College.”

Lowdenback went on to say, “We want to celebrate the things that make us ‘family’ and make us proud to be Tigers. We have a great tradition of helping one another. Many of us, for example, have supported students with struggles by providing meals, clothing, books and other areas of need.”

This internal support can have a huge impact on external support. Many corporations and foundations consider an institution’s faculty and staff giving percentage when awarding grants and contributions. The same is true of alumni giving and Lowdenback hopes The Family Campaign will send a very positive message to GC graduates and friends that the people closest to the College are supporters.

Executive Scholar-in-Residence Gov. Martha Layne Collins, second from left, with Brent and Patti Dennard, owners of the new Georgetown Chick-fil-A which donated lunch

“I think that finally everyone is beginning to get – it’s not how much you give, but that you give – and you give to something you are passionate about,” Lowdenback said. “Foundations are much more likely to give to schools where faculty, staff and alumni show THEY care.”

Investing in initiatives that will open doors for our students was stressed in the Family Campaign. Faculty and staff were encouraged to give to their passion – such as any academic area, scholarship, sports team or religious life.

Obviously, that all struck a chord. And, to celebrate the month-long campaign and say thanks to all those caring faculty and staffers a lunch was held April 12 in the George H.W. Bush Center for Fitness. The food was graciously donated by our good friends at Chick-fil-A, who obviously were touched by this incredible new spirit of giving by the folks who work at Georgetown College.