VC employees raise thousands during Pirate Cup giving campaign

L to R: Debra Chronister, Ann Brogger, Chris Kallus, Tom Butler, Jennifer Ortiz-Garza, Trent Thigpen

Faculty, staff and administration at Victoria College recently completed a very successful employee giving campaign to help raise funds for the Victoria College Foundation. Nearly $20,000 was raised by 125 participating employees that will help provide scholarship funds for students and fund critical programs.

The employee giving campaign is an established part of the VC Foundation’s annual Tradition of Excellence Giving Campaign. But this year’s employee giving campaign was the first Pirate Cup Campaign that included the brand new, custom-made Pirate Cup.

Now on its way to becoming an annual event, the Pirate Cup was designed and created by two very talented VC employees: Associate Professor of Art, Debra Chronister, and Computer Information Systems instructor, Trent Thigpen.

According to Chronister, the Pirate Cup is made from porcelain and is glazed with a transparent stoneware glaze. There is also a ceramic decal addition that was fired on last. The body of the Cup was wheel-thrown in three parts and then joined.

The handles on the cup are shaped like dolphins and were slab-formed from molds taken from a cannon found on the La Belle shipwreck –a cannon that was made for the son of King Louis XIV, Prince Louis de Bourbon, in the 1600s.

The actual cannon is on exhibit at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History in Austin. Casts of the handles may be found right here in the Museum of the Coastal Bend located on the VC campus.

“Trent created and applied all the decals,” said Chronister. “I made and glazed the form. It took a total of three firings to complete the Cup and the max temperature was 2245 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Some of the programs that are funded through both the Tradition of Excellence Giving Campaign and the Employee Giving Campaign include materials or equipment specifically needed by various departments to improve instructional services or student support.

“The people who work at VC have seen first-hand what a tremendous difference education makes in the lives of our students; that’s why they are dedicated to the continued success of the college and its students,” said VP of College Advancement and External Affairs Jennifer Yancey. “Our employees give to the college because they know that some of the programs the VC Foundation supports would not have been possible without grants from the Foundation.”

“This year’s first-ever Pirate Cup Campaign is an important way for VC employees to ‘pay it forward,’” added Yancey. “The symbol and status of our new Cup provides added motivation on our way to achieving 100 percent employee participation.”

During this year’s campaign, color-coded team leaders were charged with recruiting team members. The team with the most recruited members would win the now-coveted Pirate Cup. This year’s winning team, affectionately known as the Orange Team, was led by Director of Counseling Ann Brogger, Respiratory Care Program Chair Chris Kallus and Psychology Instructor Jennifer Ortiz-Garza.  In all, the Orange Team recruited 52 employees.

Published: Thursday, 17 February 2011

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