WakeUnited: Live United Katy Harriger

Wake Forest political science professor Katy Harriger poses in her office in Tribble Hall on Friday, November 4, 2011.

Katy Harriger, professor and chair of politics and international affairs, has contributed to the WakeUnited Campaign for most of her 30 years at Wake Forest. “I understand the privileges I have as a college professor, and I have always believed that if you have the capacity to give to make your community better, that’s what you should do,” says Harriger.

On many occasions, she has happily served as her departmental liaison for the campaign because she believes in the work United Way does to alleviate unequal access to education, food, legal services and health care. “These are issues that I wish were more adequately addressed through our political system, but since they are not,” says Harriger, “I think it’s incumbent upon those of us who have access to these essentials to do what we can to make sure that others do as well.”

Harriger is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, which reflects her particular interest in recent years on projects related to improving the high school graduation rate in Forsyth County. “This focus proves that when resources and attention are focused on an issue, change can happen,” says Harriger. “Charitable giving is not a substitute for effective democratic government that works for all, but it is a very important supplement and helps close crucial gaps in services.”

Giving is easy through the WakeUnited Campaign on the Reynolda Campus. Harriger’s major connection with United Way is through her annual giving. “Being able to do it though payroll deduction made it easier to give smaller amounts in the early years and to gradually build my annual gift over time.”