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Steadfast donors receive membership in Black and Gold Loyalty Society

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Steadfast donors receive membership in Black and Gold Loyalty Society

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It doesn’t matter how large the sum, donors who consistently contribute to Oakland University support student and faculty excellence and ensure that Oakland remains a university of distinction.

To recognize these consistent contributors, the Office of Annual Giving recently established the Black and Gold Loyalty Society, which recognizes donors who have made gifts of any size to OU consecutively for three or more years. Currently, the society is comprised of more than 1,700 alumni, friends, faculty and staff.

Alumna Rosie (Van Raalte) Flannigan, CAS ’73, has contributed to Oakland for more than 20 consecutive years so she can support others like herself.

“Oakland’s excellent reputation and size was the perfect fit for me. It helped me transition from my small world (in Leland, Mich.) to the bigger world,” Flannigan says. “I believe in supporting higher education and giving back so that other students like me can attend school and get an education.”

A political science major, Flannigan says her liberal arts education provided her with analytical, writing and communications skills that she used as a foundation in her financial career as a division controller for Marathon Oil.

Linda Barc, a staff member in OU’s Classroom Support and Instructional Technical Services, splits her donation between two funds — her department’s gift fund and the Sharon Wilhelm Memorial fund.

She believes that the Black and Gold Loyalty Society instills pride and will motivate her to donate even after she retires. Since 1999, Barc has donated to multiple funds and likes that she has options ranging from specific to general ones.

“I would hope that a majority of employees donate in support of OU’s mission,” Barc says, adding that she makes her individual contributions in memory of her deceased husband, who was an OU alumnus.

“Loyal donors are the backbone of annual giving and crucial to Oakland’s success. They sustain us. They keep us going,” Alysa Hunton, development officer, Annual Giving, says. “We’re creating a spirit of philanthropy and encouraging people to give regularly.”

A growing list of Black and Gold Loyalty Society member benefits will include invitations to OU events such as men’s basketball games, the OU Art Gallery, Meadow Brook Hall and Meadow Brook Theatre.