By LARRY VAUGHT
The University of Kentucky Office of Philanthropy conducts an annual phonathon fundraiser for what it says is to “fulfill its 150-year commitment to excellence in education, research, community outreach and patient care.”
Anne Lichtenberg, UK’s director of annual giving, sent a letter to donors thanking them for their support that is a “critical component” of UK’s mission for excellence in each of its colleges and programs.
However, one Kentucky donor — who contributes annually — let me know that her donation to the office of philanthropy has decreased because of the donation commitment to UK athletics.
She feels it’s not fair that UK actually competes for her donation/support.
“I want UK to realize that because donations to UK athletics are required to maintain a halfway decent priority status and because UK athletics doesn’t recognize donations such as this one when awarding points, they are discouraging donations to our UK colleges,” the fan told me.
I’ll have to admit since I don’t buy UK season tickets and don’t worry about priority points, I never considered the dilemma fans might have when it comes to choosing whether to donate to UK athletics or UK colleges and programs.
Maybe to some fans, it’s not a problem. For those choosing how to use limited donation dollars, I can understand how athletics gets priority in hopes of maintaining a higher seating priority.
Maybe I am missing something here. But it does seem to me that ANY donation to UK ought to be equally valued by both athletics and academics.