Giving Back to Give Forward

On Wednesday, March 28, NC State students will gather in Stafford Commons for one shared reason: their love of the university. A joint effort between the Office of Annual Giving and Students for University Advancement, Student Giving Day is designed to celebrate the impact of private giving while encouraging students to support programs that have been meaningful to their experiences.

Student Giving Day 2018 is led by Alex Ives, senior class gift chair; Matthew Cherry, member of Students for University Advancement; and Caleb Parker, president of Students for University Advancement. SFUA is a new organization that educates students about the importance of private giving and fosters a community of philanthropy.

Parker, Ives and Cherry exemplify the different paths that bring students to NC State. Ives came as a track and field student-athlete, and Parker fell in love with the university on a visit to explore the architecture program (he confesses Howling Cow ice cream sealed the deal). Cherry made his decision after receiving the Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship, among other scholarships.

Last year’s Student Giving Day was full of fun and philanthropy.

Their varied experiences converge when it comes to their gratitude to NC State and commitment to paying it forward for the next generation. As Cherry, a junior majoring in business administration pointed out, the generosity of alumni has created new possibilities for current students and “we are going to be charged with that same task soon.”

A key goal of Student Giving Day is to help students understand how philanthropy impacts their lives at NC State. “If you are a student who is receiving financial aid or a university scholarship or you use any university resources, it is important for you to understand the importance of private giving,” Cherry explained.

“Opportunities such as scholarships, study abroad or even funding for a club you’re involved in are examples of areas affected by private giving,” said Ives, a senior public relations major.

“NC State is a place where I’ve been given so many opportunities. It’s changed my life for the better since I’ve been here,” Parker, a junior majoring in sociology, said. “It is always important to give back to those who have given to you and give forward to those who are to come.”

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., students will gather at Stafford Commons to learn more about how they can get involved with philanthropy at NC State and the benefits of becoming a student donor, and to meet other students who have chosen to make a gift. “It’s a day that really helps give us perspective on what philanthropy is really about,” said Ives.

However, as Parker noted, Student Giving Day also will feature plenty of fun, including food and a tie-dye station. “It is a day that focuses on giving to the university but it also will be a day of good times. It’s right at the kickoff of spring and gives a great excuse to make it outside and enjoy yourself.”

Parker, Ives and Cherry each believe that the tradition of giving back begins while students are in school.

“If you’re going to start making a difference, why not start now?” said Ives. “The opportunity to pave the way for the future doesn’t start when you become an alum; the opportunity is now.”