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UW-River Falls students give thanks to donors

February 25, 2015

On Feb. 24, the UW-River Falls Foundation and the Chancellor’s Student Ambassadors teamed up with Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) to host the third annual “National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day.”

This year the Foundation decided to do “Thank a Donor Day,” where students could come and write a thank you card to alumni who donate money to UWRF.

“It is a way for us, as a campus community, to reach out to our alumni and friends who have supported the university,” said director of Alumni Relations Daniel McGinty.

Last year, National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day consisted of a YouTube video having students say thanks to all the people who helped UWRF move forward in furthering student education.

The event was created to remind students about philanthropy on the campus, and to give a simple thanks to people who have helped UWRF financially.

“All students are encouraged to participate but we are targeting alumni donators who have written a gift to the university,” McGinty said. “Then our students will actually complete a thank you card and that card will be then mailed to our alumni.”

These donations help with school events, international travel programs, building projects such as the Falcon Center, undergraduate research programs and grants to improve classroom instruction. Every student is affected by these donations whether they know it or not.

There are over 5,000 donors that support UWRF, but the donators chosen for the thank you cards were individuals who are non-scholarship. The final tally of recipients is 500.

A worker in the Foundation office, Sarah French, explains her excitement about the amount of students participating: “This is awesome; great turnout is never a surprise. It’s always reassuring. The students on this campus are very gracious. We have great students on campus and it is always very [encouraging] to see how many come out just to say thank you.”

Once students had written a thank you card, they could add another one to the big board that spelled out “Thank You” in cards.

“This event is amazing because there are so many alumni that give back, and not even alumni, just people that give to the university, and we can’t say thank you enough because we wouldn’t be here, and our building wouldn’t be here, and nothing would be here without them,” said Chancellor’s Student Ambassador Abby Veloske. “So I think we should send them a thank you card every day.”

The event had a giant “Thank You” banner with hundreds of signatures along with facts about where the money goes once given to the university. Over 5,000 alumni and friends donate to university, and last year the UWRF Foundation received over $2.4 million in gift support. The money donated will help the school continue to build its future.