Randy Bullard

Methodist University’s Loyalty Campaign will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The goal this year is to raise $200,000 for student scholarships.

Methodist University’s Loyalty Campaign will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The goal this year is to raise $200,000 for student scholarships.

On Tuesday, 22 teams made of up of 245 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.

Even though Loyalty Campaign fundraising efforts continue throughout the day, there will be a celebration luncheon on Feb. 23 from noon to 1 p.m. at Haymount United Methodist Church, located at 1700 Fort Bragg Road in Fayetteville. The luncheon is a time for volunteers and donors to celebrate the success of the campaign and energize the volunteers to the reach the finish line. The Loyalty Campaign Supporter of the Year will be announced at the luncheon.

Fundraising efforts for the Loyalty Campaign are conducted in the days leading up to and weeks following Feb. 23. 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. For most years as far back as 1968, the fourth Tuesday in February has served as the Loyalty Campaign celebration day, a community fundraising event.

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 Office of Institutional Advancement estimates that more than 550 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 Randy Bullard ’76, a local financial advisor. He says he is deeply humbled and honored to serve as the chair of the 60th annual Loyalty Campaign for student scholarships.

“I know enough about the school’s leadership that I can say with confidence; the best is yet to come. As a financial advisor, I truly appreciate the many ways MU contributes to the community’s well-being and enhances the quality of life. The positive community impact made by graduates is immeasurable,” Bullard said.

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 2014-2015 academic year, MU awarded $21.9 million in financial aid to students.

Photo: Randy Bullard ’76, Loyalty Campaign chair