Candler's past and present rooted in giving

As Candler School of Theology celebrates 100 years, its faculty and staff have helped the school achieve another milestone—Emory’s highest rate of annual employee giving. Candler had the highest MyEmory participation rate (70 percent) for the 2013–2014 fiscal year, and MyEmory volunteer Lisa V. Parker says this is a reflection of Candler’s strong sense of community.

“Every time we welcome new staff, we’re able to introduce them to someone who has been here 20 years,” says Parker, a financial aid adviser. “When we opened our new building for Pitts Theology Library last month, a professor and I reminisced about watching Bishop’s Hall go down and seeing phases 1 and 2 of the new building emerge. At Candler, there are full-circle moments like that and a sense of working hard together to make that happen. The energy and atmosphere at Emory start with sharing.”

For staff and faculty who wish to honor Candler’s centennial, Parker suggests supporting the Theology School Fund for Excellence. Every contribution currently supports tuition scholarships, a major priority for the school. Candler’s scholarship program ranks among the best for theology schools nationally, with 85 percent of eligible students receiving support during the 2013–2014 academic year. The average amount of scholarship funding covered 60 percent of tuition.

Parker, who came to Emory in 2001, also has seen the results of giving beyond Candler. She served on the Employee Council and chaired the Employee Hardship Fund, which she continues to support through her MyEmory payroll deduction. The hardship fund provides emergency financial assistance to staff and faculty who have suffered a catastrophic event. “Some of my most rewarding work was being able to decide how to help families get back on their feet,” she says.

Giving through MyEmory is an investment, Parker points out. “I am tied to Emory because of its investment in me and my investment in it,” she says. “Few places allow an employee to contribute to a fund that assists fellow faculty and staff—and can be used by any of us. We are very fortunate to have the Employee Hardship Fund.”