Association attempts to attract donations
Towson University’s alumni association and Office of Development are creating a philanthropy program that will encourage graduating seniors to donate money to the Towson University community, after the amount of contributions made to the University declined.
The lack of contributions could be due to graduating students feeling less connected to the University the associate vice president of development Michael Cather said.
“A lot of seniors don’t spend a significant amount of time on campus,” he said. “They come to attend class and leave because they have jobs, internships, or other off-campus obligations. They are, therefore, unaware of ways to give back.”
Lori Armstrong, associate vice president of alumni relations said that paying for college related costs is another important factor.
“A lot of students don’t have a lot of money to give,” she said. “Paying for student loans and establishing a satisfying career are their primary concerns.”
The contributions made by the senior class will benefit a variety of programs and scholarships that exist in a number of areas across campus, Meghan Culbertson said, director of the annual campaign.
“One of the most popular senior gifts is the tiger in front of Cook Library,” she said. “For the last few years, however, seniors have been unable to give gifts like these because of a lack of contributions.”
The philanthropy program will combat these issues by educating students on the importance of giving back to Towson beginning in each student’s freshman year.
“I am planning to contact FYE advisors and freshman orientation coordinators to figure out a way incorporates information about the philanthropy program into freshman orientation,” Culbertson said. “I will set up a table in front of the Susquehanna dining hall and provide flyers and brochures in order to inform current students.”
Students will also be educated on the different ways they can make a donation.
“Students don’t have to give the money directly to the university,” Culbertson said. “If they have a particular club or organization they would like to donate the money to they can feel free to do so.”
In addition, Towson students can make a contribution in memory of a family member, friend, faculty or staff member.
Alumni relations and the office of development encourages students who feel they do not have the money to give as much as they can.
“A lot of students think that a five or 10 dollar donation won’t make a big difference,” Armstrong said. “However, the smallest donation will make significant changes in the Towson University community.”