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Giving Back to Make a Difference

By Jo Ann Jones | Date: July 10, 2014

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By: Guillermo Garcia/ Giving Magazine


Meet the Haug family


Tanya Haug ’97 is a firm believer in giving back.


“I really, really believe that the more I am able to ‘put back’ into the institution where I got my degree, it can only serve to increase the university’s standing,” she said. “But for me personally, it will also increase the value of my diploma and my undergrad experience at UTSA.”


The life-long San Antonio resident notes that by donating to the university—whether by six and seven figure amounts or in relatively smaller amounts like she has done—current and potential future students will also draw benefits.


Tuition, fees and state support cover about 80 percent of UTSA’s operating expenses. Private gifts make up the difference, said Marjie French, vice president for external relations.


“Private gifts from donors are the vessel for offering students scholarships and allow the university to hire faculty who are leaders in their fields,” she said.


And that translates into a quality education that is available to even more students, Haug said.


“Education is an opportunity that not all people have, so if I can help, even in my own small way, I am happy to do so.”


The football-loving graduate of the College of Education and Human Development, where she earned her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies, began making donations to alumni programs, the Annual Fund and others beginning the year that she graduated. Small, regular donations are what gave a boost to UTSA’s capital campaign last year. Of the $21 million the university raised in 2013, 86 percent were gifts of $500 or less.


“When you take all the $25, $100, and $1,000 gifts and add them together, the impact is amazing. Every gift to UTSA really does make a difference for our students and faculty,” French said.


Many of those gifts, almost half, were from alumni.


“Alumni giving is essential to UTSA,” said Anne Englert, director of alumni programs. “We as a university take seriously the number of alumni who do give back because, every dollar helps. Every alum who gives is investing in our current and future students, faculty and the university as a whole, just as someone invested in them when they were students. And alumni giving to the university is used as a factor in national rankings, so when alumni give, they help enhance the reputation of UTSA.”


Now Haug has donated an additional $1,000 and has been included in the university’s premiere giving group, President’s Associates. There are about 950 members who support programs across the university, from department and college funds to athletics. A smaller number, including Haug, give specifically to programs designated by President Ricardo Romo as high priority areas.


These funds have helped band students purchase their uniforms and instruments, have brought Iron Rowdy to campus, and have supported scholarship programs.


Haug said she is thrilled to donate and to join a group “that will give me the opportunity to meet [fellow President’s Associates] and get to learn about other people’s passions that I would not have been able to otherwise.”


Although her husband, Ryan, graduated from Trinity University, UTSA activities—particularly football and the ritual pre-game tailgate party—have become a Haug family affair.


“We purchased eight season tickets to the inaugural season and we renew every year,” she noted, adding that the couple were college sports fans long before sons Vincent and Charlie were born.


Now the youngsters flash the Roadrunner hand sign like pros “and they absolutely love and look forward to all the tailgating and socializing,” Haug said.


“Alumni like Tanya who stay connected, join the Alumni Association and make a gift each year are really special. Our students are so fortunate to have her and Ryan’s support. We certainly hope that even more alumni will follow her example, because it will make a huge difference for UTSA,” said French.



(Photo courtesy of Giving Magazine)



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