The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

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United Way agencies serve UTC family

When Marge Fergason, chair of the Employee Relations Committee, was a single mother beginning her career at UTC, she enrolled her son in Little Miss Mag day care, a United Way Agency.

“Little Miss Mag was on the way to work, open during the hours I needed, has a very positive reputation for quality care, and, with the assistance Little Miss Mag received from United Way, provided day care I could afford,” Fergason said.

As her children grew, Fergason tapped another United Way Agency, Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

“Big Brothers/Big Sisters was wonderful!  My girls had excellent young women who were real role models as well as good friends.  My son really benefited from this experience -- living with three women, and having no male role model, he really enjoyed 'guy' time with his big brother.  In fact, my son, now 29, and his big brother are still friends and still keep in touch,” Fergason said.

This year, Fergason joins Dr. Richard Rice, President of the Faculty Senate, and Jean Dake, chairperson for the Exempt Staff Council, as United Way Campaign Co-Chairs on the UTC campus.  They are working with Richard Brown, Employee Campaign Manager, to encourage faculty, staff and students to contribute and to reach a goal of $100,000.

Last year, 404 faculty and staff members and their relatives were served by United Way agencies, using $157,510 in services.  “That’s a good return on the campus investment,” Brown said.

Fergason is not only contributing her time to the campaign, she is also busy knitting an afghan, one of the many items contributed to the United Way auction to be held later in the campus campaign.  Faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to bid on items from Media Play, Bombay Company, Chattanooga Auction House, Backyard Burgers, Slender Wraps, and National Tire and Battery (NTR), among others.

All departments who report 100 percent participation in this year’s United Way campaign will receive Arena/Fine Arts Ticket, Athletic Event Tickets, a $50 Corporate Express Voucher for Office Supplies, and an additional 15 percent UTC discount for one item at the UTC Bookstore.

In 2004, UTC was recognized among 19 corporate partners who pledged $100,000 and more in the Chattanooga area.  In 2003, UTC was recognized as one of two institutions to receive the Company of the Year Community Award from the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.