Great traditions begin with a single action, the significance of which often goes unrecognized in the moment. When Regina Testa made a gift to the University at Albany in 1995, she didn’t expect it would result in her addressing an audience of faculty and staff donors, including the President, 25 years later. Yet that’s exactly where she found herself earlier this semester.
The University at Albany Foundation hosted a Faculty/Staff Donor Breakfast Reception on Thursday, February 13. Held in the Great Hall of the Campus Center, the event celebrated the contributions made by University employees. According to Fardin Sanai, Vice President for University Development and Executive Director of the University at Albany Foundation, more than 735 faculty and staff members made gifts in 2019, helping sponsor more than 116 endowed scholarships.
In recognition of 25 consecutive years of giving, Sanai honored Testa with a mug and University at Albany pin. She also delivered remarks at the event. “I give because I love working here, love the students, love EOP, and hire many of these students,” she explained. “I love the library—working with a group of people who try hard every day to serve.”
Testa joined the University Libraries in 1987 as a Programming and Planning Officer. There, she developed an interest in technology, and she began providing software instruction to faculty members. She took over the IMC (Innovate, Make, Create Center) in 1998 and introduced iLearn Workshops in 1999.
Faculty and students across campus have recognized her contributions. “She keeps [students] feeling welcome and helps us with tech capacities to advance our semester projects,” says Grace Jama-Adan, who graduated from the School of Public Health in May 2019.
“Without you,” President Havidán Rodríguez told faculty and staff in attendance, “we would not be where we are today. And so we want to thank you, because in addition to your day jobs, you desire to support this great institution with your financial support. We are greater because you make us so.”
The University Libraries appreciate all the faculty and staff who donate to the University and the Libraries, and are thrilled that one of our own was recognized at this event.