Giving Since the 80s, Two Alumni Credit UWF with Long-Term Careers
This article on long-term giving was published in the 2015-2016 University of West Florida Foundation Annual Report.
View the annual report (PDF).
Tim Haag, ’85
As an undergraduate student at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, Tim Haag, ’85, saw a flyer on a bulletin board about a master’s degree program in public administration at UWF that focused on coastal zone studies.
“It was pretty much exactly what I was looking for,” Haag said. “I kept in touch with staff in the MPA program at the university on and off for a number of years until finally a financial aid package became available that covered the out-of-state portion of my tuition. That aid package was what made it possible for me to attend UWF.”
During his last semester in the program, Haag interned with the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority. Thirty-one years later, he still calls Pensacola home and has enjoyed a long and progressive career at ECUA, now serving as the director of government affairs.
Soon after graduating, Haag and his wife, Donna, ’91, began giving to UWF. They’ve focused their contributions on supporting the MPA and education programs, the Bill Healey Leadership Award, first generation students and athletics. Most recently, the Haags have created a scholarship endowment to help non-Florida residents with out-of-state tuition.
“When we started giving back, it wasn’t a high figure, but supporting the university is about building the habit, and every dollar goes to support a legitimate program,” Haag said. “UWF has given me a storybook ending – my path was laid out very nicely in front of me.”
Joan Seifert, ’69
As part of the first class of students to graduate from UWF, Joan Seifert, ’69, always knew she wanted to become a librarian. The St. Petersburg native majored in history with a minor in political science and worked part-time on campus in the library.
Right before graduation, Seifert returned home and met with the director of the St. Petersburg Public Library. As luck would have it, a phone call interrupted their meeting that day – someone had just resigned. Seifert started work the very next week and continued there for the next 37 years.
Always involved on campus, Seifert was the first president of the Tampa Bay alumni club and made her first financial gift in 1982. She’s since supported a variety of initiatives, including first generation scholars, undergraduate research in chemistry and Argo football. A planned gift in honor of her mother and father will create a scholarship endowment for students in Allied Health and Life Sciences, specifically providing opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research.
“In the beginning, I gave my time, but as soon as I started making a little bit of money, I wanted to repay UWF, and I’d encourage other alumni to do the same,” she said. “While campus sure looks different than when I was there, the central goals are still about the students – that’s never changed.”