Collaborative giving society celebrates making OU a better place – 2024 – Giving – OU Magazine – News

Collaborative giving society celebrates making OU a better place – 2024 – Giving – OU Magazine – News

Members of Oakland University’s Women & Philanthropy group recently gathered with President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz and other community members to celebrate the milestone of awarding over $100,000 in grant funding to support campus programs.    

bird cam

Students installing bird cams

Attendees enjoyed networking and socializing before dinner and presentations. Pescovitz spoke about mental health-focused initiatives the group has supported, such as the 2022 after-hours crisis counseling service pilot program, as being vital to the wellbeing of all students on campus.

Gerard Madlambayan, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, shared the impact of biology-focused grants over the years. In fact, one of the initial grants was $5,000 to expand the Student Organic Farm hoop house. Recent awards have funded bird cams which allow students to study the foraging and migration habits of birds. 

bird cam

Red-bellied woodpecker on bird cam

A member since the group’s founding in 2017, retired faculty member Beth Talbert spoke about why she loves being part of Women & Philanthropy and attending impact events: “I appreciate the opportunity to listen to grant applicants in person and to then be directly involved in funding those projects we agree are most worthy. It’s inspiring to hear back from the recipients about how they used the funds for their projects and/or research and to see what impact those dollars have made.” 

The $100,000 also contributed to “Aspire. Advance. Achieve,” the largest and most successful fundraising campaign in OU’s history. 

On the heels of the impact event, the group met on May 22 to vote on the projects to be funded for 2024. Out of nine applicants for funding, five were selected to present to the group. After an engaging debate on the different projects, the group ultimately decided to fund the following projects:

  • OU Early Childhood Students Connecting with Infants & Families ($1,320): This pilot program will provide hands-on experience for early childhood students to gain experience interacting with families of infants and to help reduce anxiety that many students have with working with care-givers and family members.
  • Your FIRST Response to an Allegation of Child Abuse ($2,500): OU will be the first in Michigan to use this specific training to identify abuse and report it properly.
  • LORACS Greenhouse ($6,400): Funds for this initiative will support an evaporative cooling system that will go in the new research greenhouse, to ensure year-round growing and research.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach to Coexisting with Beavers ($4,380): Funds will be used to implement technology for regulating flooding and maintaining footpaths of the campus bio-preserve, while keeping our beaver family comfortably in our preserve.

“Empowering women in philanthropy at Oakland University is not just about giving back; it’s about shaping a legacy of positive change. Together, let’s amplify our impact and inspire others to join us in making a difference for generations to come.”

      –Dawn Aubry, CAS ’92, Vice President of Enrollment Management

The Women & Philanthropy collaborative welcomes new members. Anyone can join at any amount; however, voting rights to select the projects start at $250 for women under 40 (emerging philanthropists) and at $1,000 for those over 40. 

Learn more about Women & Philanthropy or contact the Annual Giving office at (248) 370-4504.

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