Virginia Tech Academic Council members have gone beyond working with President Tim Sands to chart the university’s future. They are helping to bring it about as donors.

Together, the deans, vice presidents, institute directors, and senior administrators on the Academic Council gave nearly $145,000 to Virginia Tech during the fiscal year that ended June 30. It’s the first time the council has achieved 100 percent giving, and is a powerful sign of support for the university’s direction. In July, the group was renamed the President’s Council.

“I am grateful and moved by this affirmation of our shared vision,” Sands said. “Council members have already dedicated a great deal of talent and time to move our strategy forward. Their willingness to provide financial resources as well, demonstrates just how much they believe in Virginia Tech’s potential to have a positive impact on the world. This personal commitment sends a powerful message to other potential donors as we seek to raise additional funds to advance our mission.”

Council members gave to a number of programs at Virginia Tech, including the Beyond Boundaries Scholars initiative to recruit high-achieving students from all types of communities.

In the nonprofit world, it’s important that members of leadership groups like boards or councils make donations, said Rob Moore, interim vice president of marketing and communications for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

“I serve on the board of an organization that recently received a grant, and one of the eligibility criteria was that 100 percent of board members had made gifts,” Moore said. “Donating sends a message to other stakeholder groups that the people in charge really believe in the mission and are willing to support it in the most material of fashions, by giving.”

Academic Council members say they are inspired to give by the caliber of the university’s vision and the character of the many students, colleagues, alumni, and supporters they come across on the job.

“Our university is constantly pushing forward, making discoveries and preparing students to lead fulfilling lives,” said Sally Morton, dean of the College of Science. “How could I not want to give myself?”

Whit Babcock, Virginia Tech’s athletic director, said the university’s focus on comprehensive excellence – and the dedication of its student-athletes, coaches, and Hokie Club members – inspires him to donate in support of sports programs.

“Our teams help bind the university community and unite the region,” Babcock said. “They enable students to develop confidence, character, and work ethic. Virginia Tech is headed in a great direction, and I want to help that however I can.”