The Advancement Office plays several roles on campus: it supports students through hardships, provides connections, and sponsors campus opportunities and student events. The Grizzly sat down with some members of the Advancement Office to discuss where donated money goes and the importance of it.
Jacqueline D’Ercole, executive director of Advancement Services states, “Gifts to the fund feed into budgets for academic programs, student life (including athletics and clubs), scholarships and financial aid programs, experiential opportunities (like Summer Fellows), and more. Every dollar that goes into the Ursinus Fund immediately goes back into improving and supporting the campus community.” Per the website, the Ursinus Fund also supports campus beautification, academic innovation, and student research opportunities. Additionally, philanthropy funds help to aid the campus and its students during crises, such as World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multiple members of the Office suggested students might consider giving to the fund as a way to “pay it forward” for the education, connections, and opportunities they have gained at Ursinus. Molly Robbins, executive director of the Ursinus Fund, stressed that all members of the campus community have an important role to play in giving to the college. As reported in the 2021 Annual Report & Year in Review, alumni and students donated 39% of all financial gifts during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Multiple events occur during the year to promote campus philanthropy. Philanthropy Week occurs annually in late March to encourage students to donate, sponsored by Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT). This event, along with Giving Tuesday in November, features a #Giving2UCday. Donating these days directly invests more into the Ursinus Fund and improves campus life.
The Advancement Office staff comprises five specializations: Alumni Relations, Development, Annual Giving, Gift Planning and Advancement Services. These sub-groups all work towards the goals of making donations to the college stream-lined and transferring funds to the necessary parts of campus.
Associate director of the Ursinus Fund and 2017 graduate Vivian Viera stated, “As a former Ursinus student myself, I didn’t know how the college operated, or how philanthropy worked. Today, my goal is to help students understand how it does work — at Ursinus or other organizations — so they can feel more educated and confident about how to support things they care about. If you have any questions, I am genuinely happy to meet or talk with anyone.” The Advancement Office and philanthropy do not need to be a mystery to students, as staff are willing to work with students to better understand the role the Ursinus Fund plays on campus.
For those interested, students can make donations at ursinus.edu/makeagift. Graduating seniors have an opportunity to honor someone who impacted their college career by donating $20.23, more information about that program can be found at ursinus.edu/senior-classgift.
Erin Corcoran firstname.lastname@example.org