Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Arthur “Art” and Kay Seidenberg have participated in the Virginia Commonwealth University Staff Senate’s Marquita Aguilar Walk-a-Thon and donated to the Virginia’s Caring University Scholarship fund nearly every year since it began in 2005.
Kay, a School of Nursing alumna, and Art, a VCU retiree whose 34-year career included roles as a faculty member in the Department of Biology, coordinator of pre-health science advising and assistant dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the College of Humanities and Sciences, are still very much involved in activities at VCU, including the annual walk-a-thon.
The Seidenbergs live close to the Monroe Park Campus and often attend VCU Music concerts, athletic games and the many lectures and seminars given on campus. They volunteer their time every spring to help the Department of Biology with a project that monitors the Prothonatory Warbler, a migratory bird that visits the James River every year and stays for approximately two months. The Seidenbergs help the faculty and graduate students clean out the nesting boxes before their arrival.
Kay, an avid postcard collector, donated her extensive historical nursing postcard collection to VCU Libraries. The Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection is now housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for Health Sciences. Many of the American and European nursing-related historical cards feature Edith Cavell, an English nurse who was executed by the Germans in 1915 for assisting Allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium, and were a part of the library’s “Edith Cavell: A Nurse Who Did Her Duty” exhibit.
We give where we can and every bit helps.
Supporting the walk-a-thon and Virginia’s Caring University Scholarship for the past 11 years has been important to the Seidenbergs. “VCU has given me so much,” Kay said. “It’s where I went to school. We give where we can and every bit helps. It’s very important to let the kids know we care, that we want them to do well and anything we can do to help we will do.”
“I have been associated with VCU for over 40 years,” said Art. “We have kids who have gone to college, grandkids that are in college and I have worked with students in college through my job and they usually come out of school with debt. If we can help reduce their debt, even by just a little, that’s important.”
Since 2005, the Staff Senate has raised more than $90,000 from faculty and staff members in the VCU and VCU Health communities through the walk-a-thon. This type of giving underscores employees’ commitment to the mission of the university. A total of 101 students have benefited from the scholarship. To be considered, students must be juniors or seniors in financial need, with a grade point average of 2.7 or better, who can demonstrate past or current community service.
“This event is more than just a fundraiser,” said Marquita Aguilar, director of the Great Place Initiative for the College of Humanities and Sciences and founder of the walk-a-thon and scholarship. “It brings the students, faculty, staff and administration together. VCU is a great place to study and work. We really care about our students and want to see them succeed. This is what the walk-a-thon is all about.”
The 12th annual Marquita Aguilar Walk-a-Thon will take place on April 5. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with check-in and late registration, followed by a welcome address from VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and warm-up exercises with Eric West, Ph.D., associate professor with VCU Recreational Sports. The walk will begin at 12:30 p.m. and lunch and a raffle will follow.
Registration is open to VCU and VCU Health faculty, staff, students, alumni, retired faculty and community supporters. To participate in the 12th annual Marquita Aguilar Walk-a-Thon, register and donate by visiting http://www.staffsenate.vcu.edu/walkathon2016/index.html
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