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First Winners of Dream Fund Announced

The first winners in the Old Dominion University Staff Dream Fund program, which President Roseann Runte established to provide time off and money for deserving employees to pursue a long-held dream, were announced recently.

They are Tracey Bowry, acquisitions coordinator at Perry Library and an 18-year employee, and Elizabeth Newberry, customer service supervisor in the Department of Human Resources, a 12-year university employee.

Newberry, who is originally from England, plans to take a trip to Edenbridge in time for her father's 90th birthday party in January 2009. This will be her first trip back to her home country in more than six years.

"I could not believe it. I put in for it the last day, and thought, 'What the heck,'" Newberry said. "I definitely did not think I would win. I am very thankful for the chance, which I would not have been able to afford otherwise."

Bowry will be taking a fun vacation to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., this August with her four adopted children, ages 11-16.

"My dream was to take a family vacation without the financial stress," she said. "This will give all of us a time to bond."

She added that the family will stay in a cabin deep in the Smoky Mountains, and see Dollywood, the Ripley Museum and other attractions in the area.

"It felt like I won a million dollars. It was good to be able to tell the kids that 'good things do happen to us.' They were very excited."

The Dream Fund program will provide monetary awards of $2,000 to $4,000 and up to five days' paid time off each year for one or more staff members to fulfill a long-held dream. Privately funded through an endowment, the program is open to full-time classified employees and full-time administrative and professional faculty who have worked at the university a minimum of five years. Winners are chosen by a committee that is reflective of the university work force.

This article was posted on: April 11, 2008

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.