College of Arts and Sciences develops new fund to support faculty and students

BOONE - This fall the College of Arts and Sciences established the Student and Faculty Excellence Fund (SAFE Fund), an endowment and annual fund born out of necessity for more substantial faculty and student academic support.

Long-time members of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council, Hughlene and Bill Frank, called for an expansion of the Dean's Fund at a council meeting last April. The Dean's Fund had been set aside for student research, faculty symposia, and a variety of other activities to advance the academic successes of the college. She pledged that the Franks would commit $25,000 to the fund, and challenged other members of the Advancement Council to do so as well.

With the encouragement of the Franks and the broader Advancement Council, the College of Arts and Sciences' Dean, Anthony Calamai, worked with Associate Deans Dru Henson and Neva Specht, to develop a plan that would create new procedures for awarding support to students and faculty on a regular basis. In the process, the Dean's Fund took on a new name: The Student and Faculty Excellence Fund, or SAFE Fund for short.

With an emphasis on student and faculty engagement, the SAFE Fund will expand supported academic activities, provide funding to students and professors for scholarship-related travel, purchase research equipment, support publication, and provide honoraria for visiting lecturers, and other value-added activities that include our faculty and students.

Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences will open two funding cycles, once in the spring and once in the fall. Students and faculty will go through an application process online in order to be eligible for funding.

"The economic rollercoaster we have witnessed over the past decade highlights the need to ensure a long view for stable and sustainable funding of these SAFE projects," says David Taylor, Executive Director of Development in the College of Arts & Sciences at Appalachian. The College of Arts and Sciences hopes to raise $20,000 to $30,000 in funding each year for the renamed Student and Faculty Excellence Annual Fund.

In further consultation with the Franks, the College decided to ensure a long term commitment to the SAFE Fund by using the Franks' contribution for the establishment of an endowed fund where only the earnings of the fund are used to support SAFE fund activities. Together, the college, the Franks, and members of the College Arts and Sciences Advancement Council have a goal of securing $250,000 in gifts and pledges over the next 5 years.

"We invite everyone to help us with these two funds, depending on their ability to give," said David Taylor. "We think many will consider a larger gift through their will or trust for the endowment fund while supporting the annual fund with smaller yearly contributions." For more information about how you can be part of the support of the SAFE funds, please contact David at 828-262-6721 or by email at To receive academic support through the SAFE Fund visit the College of Arts and Sciences SAFE Fund online.

Published: Dec 1, 2015 3:09pm