More than 600 George Washington University students wrote thank-you notes to alumni donors at the university’s first Alumni and Philanthropy Day celebration in Kogan Plaza on April 9.
The event was cosponsored by the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, the 2013 Senior Class Gift Committee and Colonial Ambassadors. It was organized to show the impact that philanthropy by alumni has on current students, said David Anderson, B.A. ’09, assistant director of young alumni and student giving. Alumni help make the GW experience possible for current students both through financial donations, which help provide scholarships, and by donations of time—as mentors or internship providers, for example, he said.
“Paying it forward starts with being aware of philanthropy’s impact on campus, and thanking those who’ve invested in our GW experiences,” Mr. Anderson said. “Building a culture of gratitude at GW is so important for this institution’s future, and it was exciting to see students respond so well to our efforts and take part in thanking fellow Colonials.”
Jim Core, M.A. '96 and president of the GW Alumni Association, attended the event to meet students and encourage them to write personal thank-you notes to alumni donors.
“Dear Alum, thank you so much for your contribution to GW! Thanks to you, I have been given a very generous scholarship that allows me to continue my education here. … Because of your influence, I plan to donate whatever I can to pay it forward when I'm an alum! Thank you for your generosity!” read one note, signed “Katie, Class of 2013.”
“Thank you for your gift to GW! It has helped people like me more than you know,” read another note, signed by Tyler, a member of the class of 2013. “My merit-based scholarship let me attend GW. I'm a first-generation college student whose parents didn't even graduate from high school. Next year, I'll be attending law school. My family and I have been helped by the generosity of alumni like you.”
Mr. Anderson said he thought the event was successful in communicating the important role alumni play in the success of the university.
“As an alumnus and a staff member at GW, it's heartwarming to see so many students come together and participate in an event like Alumni and Philanthropy Day,” he said.