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SAFE Fund expands academic support for faculty and students

December 8, 2015

This fall the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University established two Student and Faculty Excellence Funds (SAFE Fund) — an endowment and annual fund — essential for more substantial faculty and student academic support.

Long-time member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council, Hughlene Bostian Frank ’68, called for an expansion of the Dean’s Fund at a council meeting last April. The Dean’s Fund had been set aside for student research, faculty symposia, and a variety of other activities to advance the academic successes of the college. As founding contributors to the endowment fund, the Bill and Hughlene Frank wish is that their gift will provide long term funding and challenge other members of the Advancement Council to contribute as well.

With the encouragement of the Franks and the broader Advancement Council, College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean Anthony Calamai worked with Associate Deans Dru Henson and Neva Specht, to develop a plan that would create new procedures for awarding support to students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences on a regular basis. In the process, the Dean’s Fund took on a new name:  The Student and Faculty Excellence Annual Fund.  

With an emphasis on student and faculty engagement, the SAFE Funds will support expanded academic activities; provide funding to students and professors for scholarship-related travel; purchase research equipment; support publication, and provide honoraria for visiting lecturers and other value-added activities that include our faculty and students.

Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences will open two funding cycles for its students and faculty, once in the spring and once in the fall. Students and faculty will go through an application process online in order to be eligible for funding.

“The economic rollercoaster we have witnessed over the past decade highlights the need to ensure a long view for stable and sustainable funding of these SAFE projects,” said David Taylor, executive director of development in the College of Arts and Sciences. The college hopes to raise $20,000 to $30,000 in funding each year for the SAFE Annual Fund.

In further consultation with the Franks, the college decided to ensure a long-term commitment to the SAFE Fund by using the Franks’ contribution for the establishment of an endowed fund where only the earnings of the fund are used to support SAFE Fund activities. Together, the college, the Franks and members of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council have a goal of securing $250,000 in gifts and pledges over the next five years.  

“We invite everyone, regardless of affiliation, to help us with these two funds, depending on their ability to give,” said David Taylor.  “We think many will consider a larger gift through their will or trust for the endowment fund while supporting the annual fund with smaller yearly contributions.”  For more information about how you can be part of the support of the SAFE funds, please contact David at 828-262-6721 or by email at taylordc@appstate.edu. To receive academic support through the SAFE Fund, visit the College of Arts and Sciences SAFE Fund online.