University of Louisville faculty and staff have played a significant role in the success of the Charting Our Course comprehensive campaign, contributing more than $27 million to the billion-dollar effort. (See Keith Inman’s letter to the campus community.) This is the first in a series of profiles of UofL faculty and staff, the areas they chose to support and their reasons for giving back to the university.

George Howe

George Howe is director of special Red Barn programs in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. He will celebrate his 44th anniversary at UofL on July 1.

Program donated to:  George J. Howe Student Leadership Fund gift account and Gifts to the Red Barn gift account through payroll deduction. These accounts are part of 11 programs that have contributed more than $294,000 through 1,455 scholarship awards and more than $20,000 toward leadership programming.

Reasons for giving to this program:  Knowing that 100 percent of the gift will directly benefit UofL students.

Your history/involvement with this organization:  I’ve been involved with nearly every aspect of these programs, from fundraising for the endowments to sponsoring events and activities and coordinating the annual Crawfish Boil or setting up and cleaning up for concerts and other special events. This is all about supporting our students.

Why you feel it’s important to give back to the university:  It is most rewarding helping students at UofL achieve their goals and dreams.  We see it every day that we are here.

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.