On Thursday, Feb. 28, the University of New Haven became one of only 80 schools in the world to participate in the first-ever Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day, organized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
It was a day for students to give thanks to the donors who support the University through scholarships, experiential learning, research opportunities, campus facility improvements and other student resources. From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., tables were set up in the Bartels Campus Center, where students could write thank-you notes to alumni and friends for their generosity toward the campus. Student volunteers were also on hand to video-tape messages, which would then be collected and also sent to donors via Facebook and the UNH website for future use.
Marya Neary, associate director of the Annual Fund, put a majority of the event together, and was there to greet each student that stopped by the table. “We just want our students to know how alumni support impacts their education,” Neary said. “They’re really interested in the opportunity to thank alumni and to create educational opportunities for them in terms of knowing how that support impacts their education here at UNH.”
Director of Donor Stewardship Paula Mortali said that the response from the student volunteers was wonderful and hopes that Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day becomes an annual event. “It’s really a nice touch for stewardship, as another way to thank donors for what they’ve done, especially by getting something directly from a student. They want to hear from them,” Mortali said.
The first 150 students who participated received a UNH “spirit cup” and could enter a raffle to win additional prizes. Members of UNH athletics teams also showed up wearing yellow and blue in support of the university and to show their Charger Pride.
Charlie the Charger arrived shortly after for a photo op with the student athletes, and also personally signed a thank-you note to the alumni.
The Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day took place at institutions in the United States, England, South Africa and Australia. It was held to show the importance of philanthropy on campus and encourage engagement opportunities between alumni and current students.