The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has matched the gifts of Dr. Robert and Patricia Long to the Murray State University Foundation for the Giving Back Endowment in the College of Education and Human Services. The Longs recently completed their $50,000 pledge to the fund, which was maximized by a $100,000 match from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation based on Dr. Long’s service with the organization as a staff and board member.
Created by the Longs in 2008, the Giving Back Endowment funds philanthropic outreach that advances the understanding and application of the principles of altruism and service for both Murray State students and faculty, while serving local nonprofit organizations.
The Longs said their goals for the program include growing study programs in community and nonprofit leadership at Murray State, increasing the use of service learning as a teaching methodology, finding new outreach strategies to support community-based service organizations and continuing the strong history of community leadership development and experiential service learning at the University.
“The central goal is to provide students with an innovative educational experience that helps prepare them to be active, educated, community-minded citizens,” said Bob Long.
While a faculty member at Murray State, Dr. Long worked with his students to teach the process of understanding a community organization’s mission and programs, researching their funding needs and then collectively determining how to distribute financial gifts from donors responsibly and effectively.  Through the Giving Back Endowment, that process can continue not only in the nonprofit leadership program, but also in any discipline on campus.
“Our vision in expanding the endowment is to include any discipline as the starting point but educate all students on incorporating the process of philanthropy so that it is something they can understand, appreciate and include in their lives after college,” said Dr. Long. “For example, teaching biology students the lifelong skill of how to support philanthropic efforts in climate change or environmental sustainability is just as important as supporting our social service organizations.”
Since its inception, students in the nonprofit leadership courses have distributed more than $100,000 to community-based charitable organizations from the endowment. Based on this past success, the Longs decided to make these final gifts to endow the program in perpetuity.
To date, more than 230 students, faculty, staff and community supporters have donated to the Giving Back Endowment. In addition, several local organizations have joined the Longs in making a gift, including Murray State’s National Panhellenic Council, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Murray Art Guild, the Murray-Calloway County Humane Society and the Community Foundation of West Kentucky, as well as many local individuals and businesses.
If you or your organization would like to join the student philanthropic work of the Giving Back Endowment or to find out if your employer offers a matching gift program, please contact Melanie Brooks, director of development for the College of Education and Human Services, at 270-809-3026.
Dr. Bob and Patricia Long present Melanie Brooks, director of development for the College of Education and Human Services at Murray State University, a check for the Giving Back Endowment.
Dr. Bob and Patricia Long present Melanie Brooks, director of development for the College of Education and Human Services at Murray State University, a check for the Giving Back Endowment.
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