ROAR Day renews annual giving appeal

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Shirley Bower is proud of her 25 years of employment at RIT, and she has great appreciation for the importance of higher education. She points to the combination of factors as her reason for supporting the university’s annual giving campaign.

“Having been a first-generation college student, I truly understand the value of a college degree,” says Bower, director of RIT Libraries at The Wallace Center. “Giving to RIT allows me to support higher education, and because of my affiliation with RIT, I can directly see the impact of my gift.”

Faculty, staff and students are invited to follow Bower’s example as the Fund for RIT prepares to kick off another season. ROAR Day, the sixth annual Raise Our Annual Responses initiative, takes place Oct. 13.

Seven stations are being set up across campus to promote giving to RIT, and donors have the opportunity to direct individual contributions to specific areas of interest. In addition, to encourage student participation, President Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnson are again funding the Destler/Johnson Student Gift Challenge. They, along with other campus supporters, have issued a dollar-for-dollar match for student gifts up to a maximum of $100 per student for a total of $15,000.

Students, faculty and staff can also enter to win prizes including an iPad 2, a $250 Barnes & Noble textbook scholarship, RIT Dining Services gift certificates, RIT sweatshirts, a winter quarter reserved-parking pass and more.

A list of locations to make a ROAR Day contribution is available online. Cash, checks, credit cards, payroll deduction pledges and Tiger Bucks are accepted.

Bower directs her contribution in support of The Wallace Center and the General Scholarship Fund. She feels fortunate that her family enjoyed the benefit of the university’s tuition waver for employees, and supporting the annual Fund for RIT campaign is one way of giving back. But in encouraging others to give, Bower emphasizes the positive effect it has on students.

“As a member of the RIT community, you will directly see the benefit of your gift,” she explains. “A small payroll deduction that may have little impact on you can make a big difference to our students.”

Last year, nearly 900 campus donors contributed more than $25,000 during ROAR Day. For more information, go to