March 05, 2013
Jennifer Hasamear

University Wraps Up Successful 'Celebrate Generosity Week'

The inaugural event was created to help recognize and honor the irreplaceable support the University receives from its alumni, faculty, student and staff donors.

Without the generosity of donors, Saint Louis University would not be the outstanding institution it is today. 

No matter the size of the gift, it is through the support of alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff and students that SLU thrives today and will continue for years to come.

For this reason, Celebrate Generosity Week was established as a way to show the University's appreciation for its many donors and the opportunities they provide to SLU students.

"This was a wonderful way for us to thank donors," said Sheila Manion, associate vice president for University Development. "It is so important to engage our donors and show our gratitude for their gifts to SLU."

Through the course of the week, events were held to celebrate faculty, staff and student donors.

Icing on the Cake Day
More than 600 students came out to thank University donors during the second annual Icing on the Cake Day. Submitted photo

More than 900 balloons and thank-you messages were delivered on Monday to faculty and staff donors throughout the campus. The Billiken was even on hand to deliver balloons and thank donors.

Also throughout the week, the Giving Programs office hosted four Thankathons for scholarship recipients to write personal messages of thanks to the donors responsible for their scholarships.

"We want to thank the students who participated," said Kris Siebert, marketing and stewardship coordinator. "Our donors look forward to receiving communications from the students benefitting from their scholarships."

Students who were unable to attend one of the Thankathons are encouraged to contact the Stewardship office at 314-977-3145 or for an opportunity to thank their scholarship donor.

Other events during the week included providing a popcorn snack, a complimentary coffee bar for faculty, staff and student donors, Icing on the Cake Day and a Senior Donor Happy Hour

The second annual Icing on the Cake Day was moved inside Busch Student Center. Students formed a continuous line to sign an oversized thank-you card and to receive a piece of cake donated by Fresh Gatherings Café and Lubeley's Bakery. Some students took the extra step by writing personal thank-you emails and recording short thank-you videos for donors.

"It was very successful. Everyone was so excited and enthusiastic about participating," said Danielle Huster, co-chair for the Class Legacy Program, who co-sponsored the event with the Office of Annual Giving. "We had more students stop by and sign the card this year. We ended up giving out more than 600 pieces of cake in less than two hours. We were very happy with this year's event."

The event was held on March 1 because it is the symbolic day in which tuition dollars are exhausted and donor support kicks in to make the rest of the academic year possible. The event calls attention to the fact that tuition dollars only covers 73 percent of the true costs to educate one student. Donor support helps to supplement the remaining costs.

"By educating our students about the importance of philanthropy and giving back, we are helping them understand that their time at SLU does not have to end on their graduation day," Manion said. "By giving back, they are continuing to help provide that same SLU experience to other deserving students. Every gift matters."

The week ended with a Senior Donor Happy Hour at Humphrey's Restaurant and Tavern. Students who attended had already made a gift to the University during the course of this academic year or gave a $20 gift upon registration.

"It is our hope that Celebrate Generosity week will become an annual event held in conjunction with Icing on the Cake Day," Manion said. "We want to continue thanking our donors for all that they do for this University."

Every gift makes a difference. Members of the SLU community can still make donations online and become a member of SLU's family of donors.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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