Mike Molla, Vice President for Operations, believes in setting a good example. He has been giving to the Annual Fund since he joined MICA's staff, the last three years at the leadership level. He also encourages all of the staff in his division to participate in the Annual Fund - letting them know that even if you can only give $1 per paycheck, your support of the College is valued and important. Operations includes a diverse array of departments, and staff at all levels - from the Building Services and Facilities staff who maintain the campus to Human Resources, Events, and Campus Safety. "Throughout my education and career, I knew that annual giving was helpful for organizations," says Molla. "But it wasn't until I heard then-Annual Fund Chair Gwen Davidson, one of our board members, speak about the impact of the Annual Fund at MICA that I understood the real power of our annual gifts at this College."
Molla shared his own enthusiasm for MICA's Annual Fund in a personal letter to his staff, asking them to make a gift, and they responded. Betty Enselein, Director of Human Resources, has "a son who's 19, and I know how hard it is to get scholarships. Mike's letter nudged me to give at a higher level because I know MICA does so much with the money we give." Chris Bohaska, Director of Operation Services, just hadn't thought of giving before he got the letter from his VP. "I even volunteered for the phonathon, asking people for money," he remembered, "but nobody had ever asked me for money as a staff member."
Christino Jackson, a housekeeper, has given to the Fund for three consecutive years, and Patrol Officer Paul Boone for two years. Molla believes that when staff make annual gifts, that sets an important example for potential donors outside the College. "The support that the organization gets from its in-house people - faculty, staff, students, parents-really contributes to how a potential giver looks at the organization," he explained. "If you have a large percentage of your staff giving to the Annual Fund, that tells outsiders that we really believe this is an institution worthy of support." Chris Bohaska agreed: "You often hear about alumni thinking back on what their MICA education had done for them, and it dawned on me that I've had the same kind of experience. MICA has been really good to me. It's helped me to grow as the College has grown." The impact of the Annual Fund is felt in every area of the College. The dollars raised-currently over $2 million per year-provide support for scholarships, library resources, exhibitions, visiting artist programs, classroom and studio equipment, and faculty and student community outreach initiatives. Each gift, at every level, helps MICA to attract the best students and faculty and provide an educational experience that is a model for other colleges of art and design.