Students Give Back During Philanthropy Week
A week-long program highlighted the importance of philanthropy at Southwestern.
Every gift matters!
At its core, Southwestern’s purpose is to “foster a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity.” That purpose is realized through the generosity of its alumni and friends.
Southwestern is thankful for the thousands of donors who have given generously of their time, talents and resources to benefit the University and its students. By their example, the University strives to help its students recognize the value of giving as well as giving back.
To encourage this recognition, Southwestern’s Student Philanthropy Council hosted the 2012 Philanthropy Week on campus, which included a variety of activities designed to help students understand the impact that donor gifts make on each individual Southwestern Experience.
Included in the week’s activities was a donor appreciation luncheon, which brought together more than 50 scholarship recipients and 60 donors for lively conversation and a presentation by seniors Brady Kent (click here) and Christina Nicholls (click here). Kent Huntsman, associate vice president of university relations – gifts, says of the event, “It was a great opportunity for our donors to meet and get to know some of the students who have benefited from their generosity. And, it was meaningful for the students to meet the people who have helped make their Southwestern Experience a reality.”
The results of the week included more than 100 student donations to the Pirate Bike Program and an alumni gift to the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. In addition, Jim Wilson ’69, who was awarded the Lord Scholarship as a student and now acts as a liaison between Southwestern and the Georgetown merchants, facilitated a visit to campus by several local business owners to show their support of the Pirate Bike Program.
Participating in Philanthropy Week made Wilson realize the positive impact that even small actions can have on others. He says, “Giving back to Southwestern allows me to express my appreciation to those who were so helpful to me…and reach out to others…to let them know someone cares about them.” He adds that he and other alumni “have a wonderful opportunity to reach out to (students) to make their SU experience meaningful so that they too might (go on to) enrich the lives of others.”
The week culminated with nearly 90 students, faculty and staff participating in The Big Event—a student-run volunteer service project—in which they worked with local businesses like the Special Olympics, the Annunciation Maternity Home, the Georgetown Animal Shelter, the Hill Country Bookstore and The Caring Place.
Experiences—like The Big Event—available to Southwestern students are just one of the things that Robyn Greb Burchfiel ’89 and her husband, Steve, believe are invaluable to the formation of ideas, beliefs and pursuits. The Burchfiels say they support Southwestern “because it’s an opportunity for us to impact the lives of young people that are at a critical stage in their lives; as they are on the doorstep of being the next leaders of the US and the world.” Robyn adds, “This idea is reinforced every time we have the opportunity to interact with the students and faculty.”