Scholarship committees at New Mexico State University will begin meeting in early July to make difficult decisions about how to distribute scholarships to students for the upcoming academic year. There are always more deserving students than available funds, so campus leaders took to the phones this week to help close the gap and support student success.
Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, Provost Dan Howard, Vice President for Economic Development Kevin Boberg, and more than 30 other leaders took shifts at the Aggie Pride Call Center, reaching out to alumni to thank them for their past support and explain the tremendous impact that renewing their gifts could have on a student who will follow in their footsteps.
“I spoke to an Aggie alum who mentioned he had made a gift during our Giving Tuesday event in December, but wanted to see more students benefit from the same scholarship he received as a student, so he pledged another gift to that fund,” Carruthers said. “I’m always humbled when I speak to our generous alumni. These Aggies are an important part of the caring community that makes up NMSU.”
The university’s inaugural Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 1, 2015, brought in a one-day online and in-person giving total of nearly $630,000 which, when combined with additional gifts and matching funds, added a total of $5.7 million to scholarship funds and endowments.
Carruthers pointed out that scholarships can be a powerful recruiting tool for NMSU.
“I chose to become an Aggie, in part, because of a $250 scholarship I received from Price’s Creameries,” he said. “Receiving that scholarship and choosing NMSU changed the course of my life.”
Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation and vice president for advancement, said it’s important for the momentum of scholarship giving to continue all year, because many of the students who benefit from scholarships would be unable to earn their degrees without that funding. During the 2015-16 academic year, the NMSU Foundation awarded 3,461 scholarships worth nearly $2.5 million to students, but she said many more qualified students could have been served if additional funds were available.
“Scholarships are absolutely transformational for the students who receive them, especially for those who are the first in their families to attend college,” she said. “The more scholarship money we raise, the more lives we can improve across New Mexico and beyond.”
Tawney said the two-evening calling campaign this week gave leaders the opportunity to personally connect with more than 720 alumni and brought in an additional $1,710 for scholarship funds. A dozen of the alumni who were called made their first-ever gift to the university this week, and 50 more pledged to visit http://giving.nmsu.edu and make an online gift.
“Every gift we receive, whether it’s $5 or $5,000, makes a difference for our students, so we’re thrilled to have more and more Aggie alumni answering the call and giving back every day,” Tawney said.
Adrian Bautista, assistant director of annual giving at NMSU, focuses his efforts on creating a culture of philanthropy among students and recent graduates. He said the calling campaign provided a great opportunity to help alumni reconnect with the university in different ways and to keep them informed about alumni events in their areas.
“I got a chance to personally invite some of our Phoenix-area alumni to an Alumni Association event at a Major League Baseball game there, and got them signed up for our newsletter so they’ll know about events coming up this fall,” Bautista said. “We want to see more of our alumni become engaged with the university and the Alumni Association chapters in their areas.”
To learn more about the NMSU Alumni Association, visit http://alum.nmsu.edu
Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU