Honoring the spirit of generosity

by Tom Morlan,

  • close-up of student's hand writing thank you note to a donor

Thanks to a matching gift program, students can make every donation count.

At Willamette, it’s easy to see students putting their knowledge to work. They’re interning and volunteering at businesses, nonprofits and agencies throughout the greater community.

What’s not as visible is the network of support that makes many of these experiences possible. By providing funds for internships and scholarships, donors are changing the trajectory of countless lives.

Willamette will honor the spirit of generosity during Thank a Donor Day on March 15. Students will have a chance to write thank-you notes in Goudy Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but Emma Johnson ’19 said they can do more.

“I just gave a gift to the politics department,” Johnson said. “If the department gets other gifts from students, it could really make a difference – it could end up funding a scholarship.”

Mitch Diaz ’16, assistant director of the Willamette Annual Fund, said Bearcats can make their dollars go further this year. When a student makes a donation for the first time, Jim Albaugh ’72 will provide a matching gift of $100.

“This is a way for current students to be part of making transformational experiences possible for future students,” Diaz said. “While a student’s $10 gift may not seem to make much of an impact by itself, that gift is an important part of the collective support we receive from our community of donors.”

As the head student manager for the Willamette Annual Fund, Johnson has witnessed the impact of philanthropy firsthand. That’s why she’s encouraging students to make a gift to the university regardless of the dollar amount.

“Starting somewhere is a great way of supporting something that you’re passionate about and making things better for everyone,” Johnson said.

To learn more about student philanthropy opportunities at Willamette, visit the student giving page.

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