As a professor and head of the history department at NC State University, David Zonderman is passionate about supporting the university through faculty and staff giving.
Zonderman co-chairs the NC State Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign along with Susan Colby. He gives back to the university through his own donations and encourages others to do the same by spending a great deal of energy fostering faculty and staff giving to help ensure NC State’s future.
“NC State and Raleigh are important to me and are ‘home’ in the sense that my wife and I have been here almost 25 years, we raised our kids here and this has been my job for over 20 years,” Zonderman said. “I’ve had a lot of satisfaction being here at NC State with a great department and colleagues so of course I want to make it a better place.”
Zonderman has made monthly donations to the History Enhancement Fund since 2001 and serves as an example of how small gifts can create a substantial impact.
“I don’t just think of myself as an employee where I go in and punch the clock and just want my paycheck at the end of the day and I’m out of here — I want to do more. Among faculty and staff, it’s not about the dollar amount; we’re really talking about participation. It’s about doing something and showing that you’re a part of it.”
Monthly giving, or giving automatically from payroll, is an easy way to commit to giving back to NC State through smaller gifts.
“I’m a huge fan of the monthly payroll deduction because it’s relatively painless and doesn’t require writing a check. If you pledge $10 a month, that’s basically a sandwich on Hillsborough Street and a cup of coffee and somehow I still make do on $10 less at the end of the month,” Zonderman said. “If someone came to me and asked if I could do a $100 check, I’d say ‘oh I don’t know if I can do that,’ but if you give $10 or $20 a month it adds up by the end of the year.”
Smaller gifts from faculty and staff collectively can make a real difference for the university.
“If 10 people each give smaller gifts, there’s a multiplier effect. Now that’s not going to endow a professorship or build a building, but that kind of money can send a graduate student off on a research trip or help us support a conference,” Zonderman said.
These small donations are particularly effective in specific areas like funding research and studying abroad.
“Students who want to study abroad and have the interest and the ability should never say ‘I can’t go because my family can’t afford it,’” Zonderman said. “A student who has been accepted into NC State and is able to do our work should never be told they can’t have a study abroad opportunity.”
Whether or not they call the university their alma mater, many faculty and staff make NC State their home. Their investments in the university support the endeavors of future generations.
“Most of us faculty are here because we love to teach and love to do our research and are passionate about the areas we study and write about. Almost all of us in academics realize it’s more than a job. If you think the university has value, then you end up wanting to help improve it for the future.”
– Sarah Keener ’17, Development Communications and Stewardship Student Writer
Gifts from faculty and staff play a significant role in moving NC State from good to extraordinary. Employees can direct their gifts to the college, campus or program of their choice, including the recently launched NC State Employee Dependent’s Tuition Scholarship, which provides partial financial support to dependents of full-time employees. For more information, please visit our faculty and staff page.