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Development Update

By Mary Hicks

Mary HicksEvery year in the summer issue of The Murphy Reporter, we publish a list of all our donors from the past year to say "thank you" for your generous support of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Once again, donors to the SJMC have provided the margin of excellence needed to continue breaking new ground, provide students with a superior education, and contribute to the communications professions in meaningful ways.

We are particularly grateful for the many gifts to the Eric Sevarid Library fund, which fuels the acquisition and subscriptions for the SJMC's impressive library. Believe me, the Sevareid is the envy of many schools and colleges throughout the University of Minnesota. The Sevareid is an invaluable resource for our students, and we are delighted when our alumni visit the library to catch up on the latest professional news. Many thanks to the almost 300 of you who made gifts to the Library last year.

Our donors have also been generous in funding the scholarships that help us build for the future. Endowing a scholarship or fellowship--or contributing to such an endowed fund already in place--is one of the best ways to ensure the future of the SJMC and the continued quality of our programs.

We were reminded of this in a sad way this past spring, upon learning of the death of Robert Bartikoski in April 2006. Mr. Bartikoski was the father of Thomas Bartikoski, an SJMC alum (B.A. '72) and retired senior vice president of public relations agency Padilla Speer Beardsley, who died in 2002. The Bartikoski family and Thomas's wife, Wendy Horn, endowed a scholarship in Thomas's memory at the time of his death. When Robert passed away this spring, the family requested that any gifts in memoriam be made to the Thomas Bartikoski Memorial Scholarship fund in the SJMC--and many, many contributions have now been made in honor of both father and son.

Those contributions have a lasting legacy: they honor the memories of two extraordinary men; and they sustain the future of the SJMC by supporting excellent students in public relations. It's a testament to the power and importance of legacy giving, which both honors the past and helps secure the future--in particular, the future of students like Jenna Lang '07, who is studying public relations in the SJMC, and who is the 2006-07 recipient of the Thomas Bartikoski Memorial Scholarship.

Not too long ago the National Committee on Planned Giving released findings from a survey indicating that seven out of 10 adults in the U.S. die without a will. Of those who do have a will, only 8 per cent included a charitable bequest for an organization and of those, only one in three had notified the charity of his or her plans. All of this spells lost opportunity for both individuals and their favorite organizations.

As you think about the people and institutions that have made a significant difference in your life, I hope you'll remember those days in Murphy Hall. Many of you have shared wonderful stories with me: great teachers, the famous red pencil marking of Professor Charnley, the long hours and laughter associated with working on the Daily, the excitement of preparing for the National Student Advertising Competition. Those memories are almost always colored by the impact of one or two individuals who made a special effort to lend a helping hand.

If you'd like to discuss how you can honor those memories by leaving a legacy to the SJMC, I'd love to talk with you. Together, we can find ways for you to lend a helping hand to the students now making their own great memories in Murphy Hall.

All the best,

Mary Hicks
Director of External Relations
College of Liberal Arts
612-625-5031
hicks002@umn.edu.