Development Development
Dean Richard Ranta Empowering the Dream

Dr. Richard Ranta is the founding Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts (CCFA). Dean Ranta has given to the University of Memphis Foundation for more than 35 consecutive years via automatic payroll deduction and direct contributions to targeted programs.

In his own words, Dean Ranta describes why he is Empowering the Dream:

I have always believed that providing financial support to our educational programs was an integral part of being a member of the University community. Thus early in my career I began making contributions through automatic payroll deduction because it was easy to do and never ‘missed’ because it never hit my paycheck. The intent of public funding for higher education traditionally was to provide for the basic financial needs of the university. Personal gifts, then, enables one to target specific programs in which might have a special interest or to provide scholarships and support which attract the very best students to our classes.

In additional to my payroll deduction, when possible, I have made larger personal gifts to assist program endowments to honor retired or deceased colleagues. For me, this is a fitting way to remember special people I have come to know through the university and to benefit programs they and I have found deserving of our support. An example of just such a program is the Bob McDowell fund established to honor the memory of my friend and longtime Communication Professor and General Manager of our own WUMR-FM radio station. I made a leadership gift to help establish the fund and created a process to continue the generation of income to the fund. Every year we hold a jazz concert with the proceeds going to the McDowell endowment. This allows people who knew and admired Bob to contribute to the endowment and draws new donors to a fun and exciting evening of jazz by some of the nation’s leading Jazz musicians.

Today, with less than a third of our University supported by state public funding, private gifts are more important than ever. Not only do they ensure that we continue to meet the basic needs of our students in a competitive educational environment, but they also allow us to develop and implement special programs and services for our many publics. Access to these programs is particularly important for our graduates if they are to be successful in their chosen careers.

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Last Updated: 3/5/14