August 30, 2002

‘Country stars’ rustle up support for campaign

Featured Image

Elvis Presley, a.k.a. Dean Steven Gabbe, complete with snacks from Krispy Kreme and White Castle, makes his grand entrance at the Community Giving Campaign kick-off. (photos by Dana Johnson)

‘Country stars’ rustle up support for campaign

Johnny Cash (Dr. Hal Moses) greets teammate Dolly Parton (Marilyn Dubree) with a kiss as Willie Nelson (Norman Urmy) looks on during this year's event.

Johnny Cash (Dr. Hal Moses) greets teammate Dolly Parton (Marilyn Dubree) with a kiss as Willie Nelson (Norman Urmy) looks on during this year's event.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center launched the 2002 Community Giving Campaign with a kick-off celebration on Aug. 23.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, noted that the annual campaign is an integral part of the VUMC mission.

“I cannot think of anything we do collectively that has a greater impact on our community than the Community Giving campaign,” Jacobson said. “There is not a single University event that is more important to the health and wellness of our community than the success of this campaign.”

The annual campaign, a part of the University for more than 60 years, is an opportunity for the Vanderbilt community to give back to others.

In a statement read by Joel Lee, executive director of Medical Center Communications, Chancellor Gordon Gee said, “This worthy effort, in which we have participated since the 1930s, has become one of the main avenues for giving for the University.”

Each fall, the campaign is held to raise money and awareness for a variety of charities in Middle Tennessee, such as United Way, Community Shares, and Community Heath Charities of Tennessee.

As in previous years, the kick-off included an overview of each of the three federations, as well as training for campaign coordinators and a humorous skit hosted by Lee.

In the skit, senior faculty and management team members posed as country music celebrities and participated in a game designed to emphasize the importance of the campaign coordinators.

The gold team included Dr. Hal Moses, director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, as Johnny Cash; Marilyn Dubree, chief nursing officer, as Dolly Parton; and Norman Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs, as Willie Nelson. The black team was comprised of Dr. Steven Gabbe, dean of the School of Medicine, as Elvis; Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, as Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines; and Dr. Kurt Spindler, professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, as Porter Waggoner.

This year, the campaign chairman is James Hudnut-Beumler, Ph.D., dean of the Divinity School.

The campaign will target the university and medical center to reach the $840,000 goal. The theme for the 2002 campaign is Exceeding Expectations.

Any donation can be made either as a one-time gift or as a payroll deduction.

New this year: Pledge Online

For those employees with computer access, this year’s campaign offers e-pledging, a quick and easy way to contribute. To pledge online, go to and click on “Pledge Now.”

Follow the instructions provided and log in using the campaign code: UWMN02. You will then be prompted for a username and password. To create, use the first four letters of your last name plus the last four digits of your social security number.

Vanderbilt employees who started after July 1 will not yet be in the system and will need to contact the campaign office at 343-8759 to set up their username and password to use the e-pledging system.