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Petrels With Purpose

Petrels With Purpose

Faculty and staff make a difference every day through countless hours of supporting educational excellence for Oglethorpe students and we all have a purpose. We are “a college of the heart” as described by poet and alumnus Sidney Lanier. Our connections with students are a driving force behind our service in preparing them for a meaningful life while at Oglethorpe and beyond.

Petrels with Purpose is an annual faculty and staff initiative focused on promoting philanthropic support for Oglethorpe University.

Gift designations include:

  • Annual Fund
  • Student Scholarships
  • Student Emergency Assistance Fund
  • Stormy Petrels Booster Club (Athletics)

Whatever your passion may be, your support is critical to OU’s growth and advancing the university’s mission.

Meet a few members of our university community who participate in annual giving:

Alex Richey, ’11, Head Coach – OU Women’s Basketball

With the growth of new programs, new buildings and massive improvements, this is the most exciting time in the history of Oglethorpe. The momentum continues to trend upward. I proposed to my wife in the academic quad; my best friends (still to this day) were in our wedding; and, colleagues in athletics and across campus have become some of my closest friends. Oglethorpe relationships are priceless. Giving back to Oglethorpe financially sets a great example to others. Giving $5 or $10 a month sets the precedent on participating and contributing to OU’s present and future. To be part of the next generation of Oglethorpe students is something I cherish. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this great place.

Eli Arnold ‘06, Director and University Librarian

My role is to ensure students have academic resources to be successful in the classroom and to support faculty needs. I want to support campus and alumni events and engage students in a more informal environment. As a student, I valued the small community feel of campus: relationships with faculty and other students were easier to develop. As an alum, I feel a responsibility to ensure similar experiences for today’s students. Find your passion and make a gift. Each of us could give $10 a month if we make it a priority. The areas that are important to me are the music department, the museum and the Annual Fund. Oglethorpe is a nonprofit, so every contribution makes a difference.

Dr. Jay Lutz, Professor of French, Compass Advisor

What we do affects young people’s lives and I want to make a very positive impact. We’re helping in the transition to adulthood. A student’s OU experience is good prep for life – not for a career but to be successful in all aspects of life. Participating in philanthropy is important – even ‘modest’ contributions help. From my experience as a Compass Advisor, I know the Student Emergency Assistance Fund is a worthy cause. It provides an immediate need that can have a large impact. OU isn’t the kind of institution with unlimited resources. All of us can support OU in some way. To a student needing funding to buy a book for class or access to an internet program for a course, $5 or $10 a month can make a difference. 

Melinda Peerboom ’12, Associate Registrar

I’m invested in Oglethorpe student success. It’s rewarding to see students cross the stage to get their diplomas. It’s important for alumni to stay involved and come back to campus to present in class, participate in Scholarship Weekend or get involved in other ways. I give to Oglethorpe because I want to invest in the future of OU and its students. Everyone can make a gift because every amount helps. I just think about forgoing a coffee or two each month. Or, make a donation in honor of a student or fellow alumnus/a.

Frequently Asked Giving Questions

Faculty and staff giving is often required when Oglethorpe applies for grant monies from various foundations and corporations. By demonstrating a united front through annual support, we boost our chances of getting those external dollars. It also is a factor in institutional rankings like those published in U.S. News and World Report.

Further, did you know that Oglethorpe is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that relies on philanthropic support from alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff? Making a commitment to giving even a small amount to Oglethorpe can have a big impact. The difference between a student withdrawing or returning to campus could be $100.

Many faculty and staff members already give and have made additional donations to support capital campaigns (like the Turner Lynch Campus Center and the Cousins Center for Science and Innovation). Others have included Oglethorpe in their estate plans. We can set the example for other key constituent groups (alumni, parents and friends) by participating in annual giving.

You can choose to support various gift designations, including Annual Fund, which goes to Oglethorpe’s greatest needs.

Other options include, but are not limited to:
-Student Emergency Assistance Fund
-Annual Student Scholarships
-Stormy Petrels Booster Club (Athletics)

Visit the giving page to view the dropdown menu of gift designations. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about specific interests.

Yes! Think about what would happen if everyone felt their contributions (monetary or otherwise) wouldn’t make a difference. Where would we be? Collectively, small annual fund gifts add up. More than half of annual fund donors make gifts of $250 or less. Your contribution matters!

Consider signing up for a payroll deduction of $10/month, which adds up to $120 for the year. Or, $83.34/month is $1,000/year and makes you a member of our James Edward Oglethorpe Circle.

There are many ways to make a gift, including cash, check, credit and debit cards.

Sign up for payroll deduction, give online by credit/debit card, or cash/check.

Learn more about giving. Visit

Kristy Henry is the Director of the Annual Fund. You can reach her at or 404.364.8338. Or, stop by the second floor of Lupton Hall to meet and talk with Kristy.

Thank you for supporting Oglethorpe through your annual philanthropic contribution!

Make a gift