Giving Begets Giving

Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2019

Student life at the University of Guelph is more than just classes and exams. Ask any student on campus and they will rattle off a list of extra-curricular activities that they are involved in.

“Many students volunteer both on and off campus, help administrate student representative bodies, play varsity athletics, assist professors with research and so on,” said student Nathaniel Brown in his recent speech at the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) award ceremony.

Students aren’t compensated for all this extra-curricular work. They don’t expect to be. It is seen as part of the University experience, and U of G Gryphons are an exceptionally spirited group who pour their hearts and souls into improving themselves and making their campus and community a better place.

Scholarships and awards are a way to recognize all the hard work that students are doing, both academically and outside of the classroom. But more than just hollow accolades, awards can have a far-reaching effect.

“The importance of even a slight decrease in financial stress cannot be overstated,” said Nathaniel, himself the recipient of the McKendry-Baker Memorial scholarship. “Without this stress, we can continue to focus less on making money and focus more on our academics and giving back to the university and wider community. It pushes us to continue to strive for greatness and give back.”

CSAHS has thousands of dollars available to undergraduate students in the form of scholarships and awards. Much of that money has come from alumni, motivated by the memories of their own university experience. In this, a cycle of giving is born.

“Donors choose to donate funds to members of the student body who demonstrate a particular set of qualities,” said Nathaniel. “In turn, these students have an increased ability to pursue those avenues which make them valued community members.

What ideally happens next, is that students mature into adults who are then able to fund an award that supports a student… who then betters themselves by contributing to the University and their community.”

This cycle of giving ­– philanthropic alumni supporting dedicated students who in turn become philanthropic alumni themselves – is the goal of the scholarship and awards program. Even a small gift to support a student today may transform a student’s life allowing them to give back to future generations.

Universities depend upon philanthropy to succeed. The University of Guelph received more than $59 million dollars in philanthropic gifts in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. A large percentage of that giving was from alumni and alumni founded businesses and foundations.

For more information on giving to the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, visit our donation page.

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