On March 17th, Greenville University students had the opportunity to thank donors for any scholarships they have received. The event, celebrated at the dinning commons of the university, was filled with beautiful energy and joy. Students came in from seven to nine that night in a come-and-go style event. Participants were provided with everything needed in order to thank donors through hand written notes.
This “thank you” event, which is celebrated each spring, gives an opportunity for students to show their gratitude and for donors to see the impacts of their generosity by hearing from the students they directly supported. Unfortunately, students didn’t have the opportunity to meet the donors at this event; however, there is hope for a meeting in the future. “We do hope to have a scholarship brunch event at homecoming for students to meet the donors,” said Matthew Young, who works for the university’s Advancement Services.
Some people may view these gestures as simple “thank you” notes, but in reality, it is sometimes difficult to put in perspective exactly how important donors are for a lot of students. Scholarship donors open education doors for those who are not able to pay the cost of attending a university on their own. It is important to notice that, currently, almost 44.7 million people in the United States have some sort of student debt. It is no lie that attending a university is economically difficult; some students have a difficult time trying to create a schedule that will allow them to study, practice, and work in order for them to continue in school. This is the case of Greenville University student Shalin Reynolds. She said, “I am truly blessed to be part of the students who receive help from donors. They have helped me gain an amazing college experience; an experience I will remember my whole life. The least I could do is thank the donors who made this possible.”
Donors are mostly alumni from Greenville University. “Of our over 1,000 donor households, 750 are alumni households,” commented Young. Over $8 million in scholarships were awarded to over 500 students in the 2020-21 school year. That means over half of the university’s students receive help from these donors. “These donors decide to help because they want to give students the Christ-centered, life-changing experience they have come to know Greenville University for,” emphasized Young. He mentioned loving the culture of gratitude on the GU campus, a culture that is rarely seen in universities.
The evening was filled with good energy and a great atmosphere; the dinning commons was occupied by students who came in with the desire to express their appreciation. Student Gabriel Perez believes that it is important to meet or have some sort of communication with the donors because “it is helpful for them to understand how important it is what they are doing for us and the university.” If a student was unable to attend the event and would like to express their gratitude, they can pass by the Office of Advancement (221 N. Prairie, across from Hood and Holtwick Halls) between 8-4:30, from Monday to Friday.
Media by Marissa Gomez.