The sixth annual Employee Giving Campaign

Northern Arizona University’s sixth annual Employee Giving Campaign kicked off March 31 with the goal of attracting support from more than 1,000 employees. Around the university, 30 employees volunteer as “campaign ambassadors,” inspiring peers to contribute to NAU. Employees Penny Medina and David Spivey show others how easy and rewarding it is to give, while Brianna Lorents is a young donor whose ambassador, Katrina Marquez, champions her efforts.

Inspiring by example

Penny Medina, ’95 BS, is a 20-year employee, most recently with the College of Education as assistant to the dean. She uses creative flair and undying enthusiasm to express her joy of giving.

“I’ve had such wonderful moments with our faculty and staff,” Penny explains. “Even though they’re at different stages of their lives, they never seem to think it’s a hardship to give.” Penny supports Santa’s Sleigh fund, supporting fellow employees during times of difficulty, and the general fund in the College of Education.

David Spivey, Associate Director of the Graduate College, has been an ambassador for three years. He has also supported Santa’s Sleigh, as well as graduate college scholarships.

“The Employee Giving Campaign provides an easy, team-oriented way to support those areas at the university about which we feel passionate,” David states. “Serving as an ambassador and helping to champion the spirit of giving at NAU is my way of paying it forward.”

A heritage of support

Brianna Lorents, ’09 BA, has worked full-time in University Advancement for almost a year. Her interactions with donors and staff, especially Katrina Marquez, the employee campaign ambassador for University Advancement, inspired her to donate to two funds close to her heart.

The first fund is the NAU Dining Scholarship Fund, which Brianna explains was an easy decision when she learned that some students on campus were having difficulty finding food.

“NAU's food service provider, Sodexo, matches what employees give, and that’s something that attracted me,” she says.

The second fund she supported was one bearing her family’s name, the Lorents Family Scholarship. This scholarship supports undergraduates interested in information systems and was founded by her grandfather Alden C. Lorents, a retired business professor.

“I love NAU,” Brianna asserts, noting her great-grandfather came to Flagstaff to work at the historic lumber mill, and her family has deep ties to the university. “I am local to the extreme, and I feel like I am giving to something that is really important to me.”

These campaign ambassadors boost employee participation, and employees receive the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the lives of the students they work with and serve each day. 

“The Employee Giving Campaign provides an easy, team-oriented way to support those areas at the university about which we feel passionate.” – David Spivey, Associate Director of the Graduate College