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Day planned for supporting donors

February 21, 2013

On Feb. 28, UW-River Falls will join nearly 100 educational institutions across the world to participate in the first National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day.

The event is a global initiative to create a culture of student understanding of philanthropy.  The premise is to grow engagement between donors and students on campuses, according to a statement released by the UWRF Alumni Relations office.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines philanthropy as “goodwill to fellow members of the human race.”

The goodwill that Dan McGinty, the director of Alumni Relations, said for UWRF students is to thank the nearly 400 donors who have given over $670,000 for student scholarships at UWRF, among other contributions to the University this past academic year alone.

Hannah Carlson is a senior political science major. She is the recipient of two of the 687 scholarships from the UWRF Foundation that were awarded during the 2012-2013 school year. Carlson said these scholarships are a part of why she will graduate in May with no debt.

“I am extremely grateful for these scholarships.  They have helped me pursue a college education and have allowed me to be involved on-campus because I didn’t have to spend all of my time working to pay off tuition,” Carlson said.

Carlson is at at-large senator on Student Senate and was recently named the elections commissioner for the spring Senate elections.

McGinty said that the goal of philanthropy day would be to show a deeper appreciation of donors, like Carlson said.

“Without the private support of our donors, the cost to attend our University would be much higher,” McGinty said. “By increasing the awareness of stewardship as a scholarship recipient, it is always our hope that others, too will pay it forward like these donors have done.”

For philanthropy day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. UWRF will have a giant thank-you card in the University Center in Heritage Hall for students to sign.
The first 100 students to sign the card will receive a coupon for a free drink from Peregrine Perk.

McGinty said the thank-you card will then be displayed at events where donors are present.
Other participating schools from around the nation are writing letters to their donors, passing out stickers/t-shirts, completing testimonial videos to be shown to donors, etc. However, the donors provide more than just scholarships, McGinty said. Other programs funded by donors include undergraduate research, international travel, building projects such as the Falcon Center project, Ramer Field renovation, Hunt Arena and the Wall Amphitheater.

Other projects that students can see directly are projects such as classroom grants to enhance labs and equipment and campus beautification projects adding trees, benches, landscaping and walking trails, among others.

Along with the Alumni Office, Student Life and the Chancellor’s Student Ambassadors will be sponsoring this first-ever event. UWRF is one of 300 schools in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (CASE ASAP).

The schools comprise of student alumni associations, student foundations and similar organizations. Its goal is to foster and enhance student involvement in all areas of advancement-from alumni relations and communications to marketing, fundraising and related areas, according to CASE’s mission statement.