In a generous act of kindness, a member of the class of 2011 has decided to donate $1,000 to the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Fund.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided to donate this money after witnessing the struggles of the student body.
The donor told members of the administration that this act of giving was done in an attempt to inspire other members of the college and campus community to donate towards scholarships.
“When I heard this story, I jumped up and down at this moving philanthropic gesture,” said Vice President of Advancement Maureen Silva, “I have worked on projects that have received gifts worth millions of dollars but I am honored to have witnessed this gift.”
The College’s Fund is still in a poor state after the recent downturn in the economy.
Even though the College has begun to make returns in its investments once again, most of the endowment fund is still under corpus.
“The school has had other priorities and projects so the fund has been overlooked,” said Silva, “but now scholarships will take center stage.”
With tuition increasing by six percent, many students would have qualms about donating more money to the school.
What many students do not understand is that after tuition, room, board, and state funding, the College still needs more support to function, according to Silva.
She explained that it is especially needed for any new endeavors and said, “additional support is needed as we grow; it is how we are able to help create new opportunities and take quality to new levels.”
Karen Raley, the newly-promoted Donor Communications Officer for the Advancement Office, is planning to use the story about the graduating donor to increase participation among the alumni.
“We want to share this story with alumni and students,” said Raley, adding, “we must share with them the importance of giving back to future generations of students.”
In an attempt to spread the news about this donation and others, the Advancement Office has begun designing a new website that will focus on donation stories.
It should be up by the end of this academic year in time for new alumni to hear of their peers’ contributions.
As for this anonymous donation, it seems as though it has already inspired others in the community.
“I give [money to the College] every year,” said Michael Carver, ’05, a recent St. Mary’s graduate and newly hired Senior Development Officer for Major Gifts, “but seeing this student’s gift, I feel like I can give more.”
As she begins to plan for the next major campaign, Silva has already committed to making scholarships the main focus and hopes that this inspires more donations.
“Donating is a great way to express appreciation for your education,” said Silva. “There is no greater way to show your appreciation than by giving back.”
Anyone who desires to make contributions to the College can do so by contacting the Advancement Office at 240-895-4286 or by visiting their web page for more information at http://www.smcm.edu/giveto.