After 34 years at UConn, associate director of the Student Union and student activities Kevin Fahey openly admits his affection for the University. “I love the place,” he says. “I bleed UConn blue.”
His high regard for the University will live on long after his June 30 retirement, thanks to his gift of an endowed scholarship for a returning student who serves on the Student Union Board of Governors.
“I’ve had a great experience here. It has meant so much to me that I looked for the opportunity to give something back,” says Fahey, who is a 20-year donor to UConn and an avid fan of Husky basketball and football.
As retirement approached, Fahey decided he wanted to do something special. He learned from the UConn Foundation that faculty and staff can provide an endowed scholarship for a $10,000 pledge payable over a five-year period. “By using payroll deduction, the process is nearly painless,” he says. “I pledged to give $10,000 by the time I retired.”
As his departure date approached, colleagues talked about a retirement party in his honor. “I’m all for a party,” says Fahey, but when asked about a retirement gift, he said he would rather have contributions to his endowment. “That’s the best gift I could ever receive.”
Late last month, Fahey received an unexpected gift from the University when, during their April 25 meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to award him emeritus status – a rare honor for staff members.
“Kevin has had a profound influence on the lives of many of our undergraduate students and, as an advisor to SUBOG, on our student leaders,” says Kathy Sanner, president of the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA), which Fahey previously headed. “He has been a dedicated member of the professional staff, and as [the former] president of UCPEA, he always kept the well-being of our members at the forefront. Under his leadership, it was our philosophy that we were partners with the University. It is fitting that he is being recognized in this very special way for his lifelong dedication to our University.”
The scholarship endowed by Fahey will support a returning student who serves on SUBOG. “Working with the Student Union is a valuable experience for students,” says Fahey, who adds that he strongly believes students’ education takes place both inside and outside the classroom. “We coordinate campus activities ranging from concerts to major lectures, all the fun stuff outside of class, so students learn to work in groups, take leadership positions, and lead projects. One of the most rewarding parts of my job has been hearing a graduating student say SUBOG was one of the most meaningful parts of their college experience.”
“We appreciate the gift and the sentiment,” says John Saddlemire, vice president for student affairs. “Support from staff is particularly welcome as a strong sign of the sense of community we are building on campus.”