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CASE Awards UC Merced for Development, Communications Projects

February 1, 2017

For the fifth year in a row, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has recognized UC Merced for its excellence in communications, development and alumni relations. Staff members worked on four projects that stood out among more than 600 entries for this year’s CASE District VII Awards of Excellence.

CASE supports alumni relations, communications, development and marketing professionals at educational institutions worldwide. District VII represents professionals and institutions in the western region of the United States — Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands and Utah — and includes every size and type of institution.

Giving Tuesday UC Merced from GiveTueUCM.

This year, the campus’s Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) team received three awards. The #GiveTueUCM campaign won a bronze award for Best Practices in Fundraising, thanks to the 690 percent increase in 2016 donations over the prior year, and a silver award for the #GiveTueUCM 2016: Will You Give Tue?” fundraising video, produced by Alumni Relations Director Chris Abrescy. “Words from the Heart,” a campaign that put a face to the students who benefit from donations to UC Merced, won a silver award in the Targeted Campaigns category.

“CASE’s continued recognition of our work validates the efforts of our team,” said Kyle Hoffman, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations. “We already know the impact our campus makes on the community, but having our peers take notice makes it even more meaningful.”

The University Communications team won a silver award in Recruitment Videos for “Discover Jessica Rivas: Connections That Matter.” The video, which was widely shared on social media, received more than 50,000 views on Facebook.

Adding to the increased visibility these awards bring to the campus, CASE has invited Abrescy and data systems analyst Mort Peyvandi to speak at the organization’s annual conference in March. Abrescy will discuss the #GiveTueUCM campaign’s success, and Peyvandi will demonstrate innovative ways other universities can improve their own giving websites.

This is the fifth consecutive year in which CASE has honored UC Merced:  

  • In 2016, University Communications won a silver award in Recruitment Videos for “Discover UC Merced: Eduardo Rojas-Flores Charts His Course. DAR also won a silver award in Digital Communications: Innovative Use of Technology for the launch of the new giving.ucmerced.edu website. On a national level, for the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards, DAR won a bronze award in Design for the #GiveTueUCM Brochure, as well as a silver award in Fundraising – Flash Campaigns for the second annual Giving Tuesday UC Merced campaign.
  • In 2015, Communications won a bronze award in Institutional Websites for the redesign of the UC Merced website, as well as a bronze award in Recruitment Videos for Discover UC Merced: Nick Fong.
  • In 2014, the team won gold in News and Research Videos for “Impact: MESA Lab Researching Friendly Drones.”
  • In 2013, the “This Is UC Merced” video won silver for Video Recruitment Features, and “Inventions” won bronze for Excellence in Design: Multi-Page Publications.