Campus Campaign

Spring 2013

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Amy Davenport

Jerome Weber
Amy Davenport

Jerome Weber
“I believe” was Amy Davenport’s two-word reply when asked why she makes a gift each year to her workplace, the University of Oklahoma. Davenport, director of fitness and recreation at Huston Huffman Fitness Center, is the 2013 co-chair for the Campus Campaign, a fundraising effort by faculty and staff that supports scholarships and academic programs at the University.

“I believe in OU, and I believe in the work that we do,” said Davenport, this year’s Walter Neustadt Award recipient. “A student who attends the University with a Sooner Heritage Scholarship may be the very person who comes up with a cure for cancer. I know I don’t give a lot, but when my gift is combined with everyone else’s, I know we are making a difference.”

Her faculty counterpart and co-chair is Jerome Weber, Regents Professor of Education and Human Relations. Having taught at OU for 49 years, Weber feels a real obligation to give back.

He said the gifts that come from faculty and staff are “an important symbol of the pride we take in the place, its programs and its people.”

Even though gifts from the 2012 campaign totaled an impressive $1.8 million, campaign director Beckie Tramel said it’s not the dollar figure that matters most; it’s the level of participation. In 1993, just 4% of faculty, staff and retirees contributed. Last year, that figure averaged 18% over the three campuses, with many giving back to their own departments.

“You can give wherever you want, on whichever campus you want,” said Tramel. “We use unrestricted funds for student scholarships. Every year, it grows.”

OU President David Boren fondly refers to the “OU family,” and just like a family, there is a healthy bit of sibling rivalry among the three campuses. Last year Leah Brumbaugh, director of development at OU-Tulsa’s School of Community Medicine, spearheaded a grassroots campaign with one goal in mind—to beat Norman and HSC in the percentage of faculty and staff participating.

Sporting the theme “What Makes Your Heart Race at OU-Tulsa?” volunteers spoke at 30 different department meetings raising awareness and funds. The committee made the most of the race theme, keeping tabs of their progress with three cars (representing the three campuses) making their way around a track. Monthly incentive drawings, prizes and “jean passes” fueled the drive, putting OU-Tulsa over the finish line with a whopping 25% participation.

This year the campaign kicked off with the “ghost marathon”— popular for those who want a T-shirt without running a race— and continued with an on-line auction. Other options include payroll deduction or one-time gifts to the department or program of choice.

“OU is not just the place I work,” said Davenport. “It’s about our students. It’s about our future.”

For more information on the Campus Campaign, which continues through June 30, contact Beckie Tramel at (405) 325-7873 or