Yale’s successful efforts to double its contribution to the United Way’s “Success by 6” program were recognized yesterday in a ceremony by the organization.

The University nearly achieved its $1 million goal, raising $904,000 — almost double last year’s $562,000 contribution — and received the Chairman Award, presented by the Supreme Secretary Charlie Foos. Associate Dean of Yale College Judith Hackman, who accepted the award on the University’s behalf, said Yale President Richard Levin’s decision to donate $100,000 of the Yale Corporations’s funds and the mobilization of the student body distinguished this year’s effort from previous campaigns.

“Success by 6” is a program that aids in the educational development of children under six years old.

Former Yale College Council President Elliott Mogul ’05, who co-chaired the campaign with Richard Chuk ’05, said working with the United Way through the YCC inspired him. Yale’s student body raised $10,000 during the last three months of the year, Mogul said. He said that the campaign included a “Penny War” between residential colleges and the involvement of extracurricular groups.

“There was a great turnout for the first year,” he said.

A similar campaign was organized by Jordan Yelinek GRD ’08 for Yale’s graduate and professional schools.

But not only students participated in the initiative. Hackman said a much wider range of the Yale community was reached this year, as the percentage of faculty and staff who donated doubled to 12 percent.

United Way Campaign cabinet member David Newton, the director of University Properties who organized the effort with Hackman, said United Way members were each designated a specific part of the University and individually approached members to solicit donations. These methods contributed to the high levels of participation, he said.

Yale College Dean Peter Salovey and Vice President of Finance and Administration John Pepper served as Yale United Way leadership chairs and, Newton said, were integral to the campaign’s success. Pepper was instrumental in convincing the Yale Corporation to make its donation, he said.

“Salovey, as a leading psychologist, was personally interested in the ‘Success by 6’ Program,” Newton said. “John Pepper was a big United Way leader before he came to Yale.”

Hackman said locals 34 and 35 were another part of the University community that responded more strongly than ever before. Alexis Flint, a secretary in the University Police Department, and Sally Notarino, a dining hall staff member, led the unions’ efforts.

“We got a lot more people to make pledges to donate this year,” Flint said.

Hackman said the faculty’s efforts, which were led by Institute of Sacred Music Director Harry Adams ’47 DIV ’51, were also successful.

Despite the increase in donations and level of participation, Hackman said Yale needs to continue to improve.

“We set the bar quite high, and we need to continue to work to raise it even higher,” Newton said. “There was a large increase in participation, but the number is still low.”