|Thank-a-Thon Puts Scholars in Touch with Donors to The Davidson Trust and Merit Scholarships
March 25, 2009
Contact: John Syme
Elizabeth Quigley ’11 was more than happy to participate in a recent letter-writing campaign sponsored by the Office of Donor Relations, to send thank-you notes to scholarship donors.
|Pat Brady ’09, holder of a Kirkland Scholarship to play baseball at Davidson, was among about 200 students who responded recently to the call to write a letter of thanks to the donors of their scholarships.|
“If it weren’t for these people, I wouldn’t be here. It’s so important to thank people,” said Quigley, a history major from Shaker Heights, Ohio who benefits from a need-based family scholarship.
Many of Quigley’s schoolmates who participated in the event expressed similar gratitude, she said, especially in this economic climate. Many are like her: students receiving need-based financial aid who are benefiting from The Davidson Trust, the college’s historic commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need with no loans.
The idea for a specific thank-you-writing event, held during two days in three-hour blocks (with a selection of gourmet cookies for sustenance!), is a new twist on the college’s traditional encouragement to students to be in touch with their scholarship supporters.
“Before, I always had good intentions about writing thank-you notes,” said Mike Auriemma ’10, from Phoenixville, Penn., whose financial aid support recently jumped because of The Davidson Trust. “But sometimes the papers would get buried on my desk and the semester would go by. This makes it really easy.”
The cookies help, too, he noted, cradling a modest stack of oatmeal-raisin and white-chocolate-macadamia confections in a stack of Davidson napkins. “I’m going to the library for the rest of the day,” Auriemma explained. “I’ve got three tests on Monday.”
In addition to all the writing supplies and addresses for sending notes and updates, students this year have an additional option, a brainstorm of Trustee Susan Brown ’76: a pocket-sized, red-and-black journal for recording random—or not-so-random—thoughts and events during their Davidson career, to share with their donors as graduating seniors.
Paul Britton ’12, a Thompson S. and Sarah S. Baker Merit Scholar, notes that, down at the brick-sidewalk level of daily campus life, there is also a happy flip side to the possibility of close personal contact between donors and scholars: When it comes to student life, whether in class or on the residence hall or on the playing field, there is a certain “democracy” at work at Davidson that makes the topic of just who has what kind of scholarship not so important.
“I know I have friends who are beneficiaries of The Davidson Trust,” Britton said. “I just couldn’t tell you who they are.”
Davidson has more than 500 scholarships, both need- and merit-based. Here is a sampling of what some students have written in thanks for that support:
• “While reading the sonnets of Spenser and Shakespeare, and studying the passé composé, I have been able to expand my knowledge in the fields of anthropology, psychology, British history, calculus, and more…. Your family has given me an incredible gift that I hope to one day pass on myself.”
• “I have discovered a home at Davidson, full of people who share a passion for learning and a commitment to each other and their community.”
“Your investment in my future has inspired me to invest more fully in myself, and that is the greatest gift that I could ever ask for. As a result of your generosity, I have immersed myself more deeply in the rich culture around me and sought to experience all that Davidson has to offer.”
• “These past four years have been the most rewarding and exciting years of my life. I have loved my professors, made life-long friends, spent an extraordinary semester in France, and received a high-quality education, all of which I will take with me when I leave.”
• “I have already learned so much during my first year at Davidson. I am amazed to witness the great sense of community on campus and how people go out of their way to help each other. As for the classes, I am very excited to say that the professors here inspire me to think outside of the box and reach all of my academic goals. They truly care about teaching and making themselves available for those who need further explanation or help. I look forward to going to class everyday to learn something new and profound.”
• “Thanks to your generous donation, I have the opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious institutions in the country and the best liberal arts college in the South debt free.”
• “I am very grateful that you have helped to support my education at this institution, where I have already learned and grown so much from such a diverse body of individuals and opportunities, and where I will most certainly continue to do so.”
• “It is such an honor to attend Davidson, and I know that wouldn’t be possible without your support. I truly believe that I have matured into a better person because of my experiences at Davidson. The lessons I have learned and relationships I have developed will carry me throughout the rest of my life.”
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.
Posted By: Bill Giduz