William Brooks

Methodist University’s 62nd annual Loyalty Campaign will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The goal this year is to raise $200,000 for student scholarships.

Methodist University’s 62nd annual Loyalty Campaign will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The goal this year is to raise $200,000 for student scholarships.

In the days leading up to Feb. 28, 20 teams made of up of 150 community volunteers will personally reach out to more than 2,000 individuals off campus to ask them to make a gift to the Loyalty Campaign for Student Scholarships. More than 10,000 alumni and friends will also be solicited nationwide.

The Loyalty Campaign Celebration will be held on Feb. 28 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Fairfield Inn & Suites, North Fayetteville on Ramsey Street. The 2017 Loyalty Supporter of the Year will be named at the celebration.

Fundraising efforts for the Loyalty Campaign are conducted in the days leading up to and weeks following Feb. 28. A gift may be made year-round to the Loyalty Campaign.

Methodist University’s Loyalty Campaign is rooted in a tradition of local support older than the school itself. Before the then-named Methodist College opened to its first class in 1960, secular and religious community leaders gathered pledges and donations from the local community for a small, private, liberal arts college that would be built in Fayetteville. “The institution owes its very founding to community leaders who believed in the philosophy of university-community partnerships,” said Methodist University President Dr. Ben Hancock.

In 1956, the Fayetteville College Foundation, which has since been renamed the Methodist University Foundation, pledged to raise an annual contribution of $50,000. The University is observing a year-long celebration the 60th anniversary of the signing of the University charter on Nov. 1, 1956 and the 62nd annual Loyalty Campaign.

Like the original board, the current Foundation is made up of business owners and community leaders from all walks of life in Cumberland County. The Advancement and Alumni Affairs Office estimates that nearly 600 local leaders have served on the Foundation since it formed, with thousands more community members serving over the years as Loyalty Campaign volunteers, making phone calls, personal visits, and other efforts to appeal to residents and businesses for the fundraising event.

This year’s Loyalty Campaign chair is William Brooks, BB&T Market President. BB&T was one of the first supporters of the University and of the Loyalty Campaign and has contributed every year since.

“I am glad to support the Loyalty Campaign because of the great work Methodist University does to develop students for success and empower them to become leaders,” said Brooks.

Though Loyalty Campaign was originally about raising funds to help the college operate; in 2005, the focus shifted to student scholarships, something that MU dedicates more than 26 percent of its budget to each year. With more than 95 percent of Methodist University students receiving financial aid, many students would not be able to attend the university without scholarships like the ones funded through the Loyalty Campaign. In the 2015-2016 academic year, MU awarded $21.4 million in financial aid to students.