Second annual Philanthropy @ Drake Week exceeds giving goal

Philanthropy Week at Drake 2011Students were in the Thanksgiving spirit this November as they celebrated the power of giving back during Philanthropy @ Drake Week.

Hosted by the Student Alumni Association, the week is designed to educate students about the impact that philanthropy has on their experience at Drake. Daily activities promote appreciation for the gifts that make the Drake experience possible, and offer undergrads the opportunity to join the Student Alumni Association.

Awareness Day set the tone for the week with signs throughout campus touting messages about the generosity of Drake’s donors. One message that resonated with students was the participation of young alumni: 441 of those who graduated in the last 10 years gave $94,824.45 to The Drake Fund last year.

Events continued with a Thank-a-thon on Tuesday, where students recognized donors by writing letters in Hubbell and tweeting their thanks for renovated classroom space and classroom materials, as well as scholarships and professional experiences.

Throughout the week, the student body came together not only to give thanks but also to give back. This year’s theme, “11 in 11,” referred to a goal that 11 percent of Drake students contribute to The Drake Fund in 2011.

By the end of the week, 15 percent of students had contributed. Their combined donation reached more than $1,000.

That total increased to over $12,000 with a generous gift by Joe Aiello, BN’80, president of the National Alumni Board of Directors. Aiello pledged to give $11,000 if 11 percent of students contributed any amount.

All donations went to a general scholarship fund. “It’s students helping students,” says Jessica Berger, assistant director of campus and student engagement in the Office of Alumni Relations.

In addition to their donations, students participated in a day of good deeds that included everything from handing out candy and paying for strangers’ meals, to letting co-workers know that their work is appreciated.

The week culminated in a bulldog party, where students celebrated their philanthropic accomplishments by gathering to pet and play with bulldogs.

While Philanthropy @ Drake Week only lasts for several days, the Student Alumni Association hopes that by showing students the power of giving back, the week will foster a culture of philanthropy at Drake that is present year-round.

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