Monday Mar 31, 2014
Recently, the Office of Development celebrated its first-ever Philanthropy Week, intended to educate and spread awareness of what philanthropy is and how it helps, and to inspire others to become philanthropists themselves.
Leeann Wright, associate director of Development, who led the charge of executing Philanthropy Week activities, spoke to scores of students, staff and faculty members who walked past the exhibit in the Moraine Student Center.
When she spotted a student toting a large painting, she engaged him in a conversation, first about the painting, and then, about philanthropy. By sharing the painting with the campus, she told him, he was contributing to an appreciation of the arts on campus, and that sharing his knowledge about fine arts, is, in itself, an act of philanthropy.
As she explained, many associate the word, “philanthropy” with monetary donations to further a specific cause. And while that is certainly true, as the student toting the painting learned, it encompasses much more than that. A philanthropist is anyone who gives of their “time, treasure and talent,” to further a cause they support.
This is just one of many lessons learned during Philanthropy Week. Other outcomes were more tangible. Inspired by the week’s activities, one professor reinforced the idea with his students by promising to match any donation the class collectively made to IU Northwest.
Those passing through campus were alerted to various notables that were made possible by philanthropy, like the Frank Caucci Language, Cultures, and Listening Lab. Additional areas, highlighted by special signs, highlighted the Tech Smart Classroom, the Reverend Lowry Commemorative Study Area, the School of Business Trading Floor, and various scholarships. All of these were made possible through the thoughtful gifts of IU Northwest’s alumni, faculty, staff and community friends.
The following excerpts portray some of the profound thoughts conveyed by faculty, staff and students in at least 120 letters they stopped to write to IU Northwest’s long list of donors:
“We students are extraordinarily grateful for your donation, as it means that we have access to better study materials and technology. Students such as myself, who struggle to find the funds to afford our education, benefit from donations, provided from donors such as yourself. Without your donation, I would not be able to attend school or to achieve my dreams.”
“You are not just touching the lives of the current students, but also the lives of future students.”
“Because of you, I am able to receive a world-class education at a VERY affordable price. I am going into the Nursing School, to follow my dream of helping people and their families in times of need.”
Thanks to the Philanthropy Week committee members who brought philanthropy awareness to IU Northwest: Jeri Pat Gabbert, Dorothy Ige, Scott Fulk, Sandra Hall Smith, Paulette LaFata-Johnson, Alicia Sines, Leeann Wright, Halley Staples, Danielle Bly, Hassan Farooq, April VanMilligan, Matt Lawson.
“I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our first Philanthropy Week, which will become a tradition on campus. I found our campus to be extraordinarily generous and interested in what we were trying to accomplish,” Wright said.
“I set out to make the campus, and especially students, aware of the impact philanthropy can have on their personal lives. I wanted them to make the connection to what’s been given to their University and the difference it personally makes to their experience here. Ultimately, I wanted the campus to think a little about value of giving back so that they may embrace a spirit of philanthropy as they become successful graduates. I feel we accomplished that and more.”