WakeUnited: Pugel encourages working in harmony for change

This is the fourth of a series of pieces written about Wake Forest community members who are committed to WakeUnited, the United Way campaign at Wake Forest.

Wake Forest President's office chief of staff Mary Pugel, Thursday, January 28, 2016.

As Chief of Staff for President Hatch, Mary Pugel coordinates a lot of moving parts – from organizing meetings with senior administrators to overseeing the staff of the President’s Office. It’s not surprising, then, that she sees her work as a perfect fit with her commitment to United Way, which coordinates community responses to challenges in Forsyth County.

“Wake Forest’s spirit of Pro Humanitate and United Way’s mission are beautifully aligned,” Pugel explains. “Our active commitment to and engagement with our local community is part of the Wake Forest DNA.”

She likes the proactive approach United Way takes in helping the most vulnerable members of the community, “through educational support, improving access to health care and improving the means to financial security – to name a few.” Pugel believes that by addressing such systemic issues, United Way is making tangible, measurable community changes where they are needed the most.

“As a member of the Women’s Leadership Council my annual United Way gift has allowed me to invest in our community with the assurance that my gift is being targeted to our community’s greatest needs,” Pugel says. One of those areas is education – the Council’s goal is to increase the Forsyth County high school graduation rate from a previous low of 71 percent to 90 percent by 2018.

Pugel’s work with United Way is an integral part of her commitment to Wake Forest University and Forsyth County. As she explains, “Support of the United Way campaign seems like a natural and easy fit!”

Mary serves on the 2016 WakeUnited campaign cabinet and notes, “This year we have reached over 80 percent of our goal with three weeks remaining in the campaign. It’s not too late for those members of our campus community who have not yet given, to contribute. We hope everyone will do their part as we raise the remaining $70,000 and help ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to thrive.”

The 2016 WakeUnited campaign encourages faculty and staff to pledge support for United Way and its critical mission in the community. A personalized pledge link has been sent to your email, or you can make your pledge at unitedway.wfu.edu.