With midterms down and finals right around the corner, the end of March marks one of the busiest and most important times of the academic year. Seniors are preparing for graduation while first-years, sophomores and juniors are busy working with advisers to count credits in order to make their own commencement while also making plans for summer jobs and internships. Tuition dollars hard at work, right? Well, sort of.
Monday, March 28, marks the first time that the Colleges will recognize Donor Day, a day to acknowledge the moment in the academic year when tuition dollars run out and the operation of the Colleges depends entirely on donations to the Annual Fund, including those made by parents to the Parents Fund. These gifts account for 22 percent of the annual operating budget for the academic year meaning that the remaining days of this semester are made possible thanks to the generosity of more than 7,200 annual donors.
“From scholarships and technology enhancement, to the very simple things like electricity and making sure the sidewalks are plowed, there comes a time each year when tuition and other revenues would run out,” says Kristen Einstein, director of Annual Giving. “Donor Day is a day for our entire campus community to recognize and thank those individuals who have made contributions to the Colleges that touch all of us daily.”
To show appreciation for the philanthropy, as well as to foster a greater understanding of the importance of the Annual Fund to the Colleges, on March 28 the Quad will be filled with green and purple flags. Each flag represents 20 donors – a total of 360 flags – and acts as a physical reminder of the importance of the Annual Fund and those who support it.
Students are encouraged to show their appreciation on Donor Day by visiting the Scandling Campus Center, where they can write messages of gratitude to donors.
“The Annual Fund is important because it is a way for people to make an immediate difference in the lives of students, faculty and staff,” says Maggie Jaffe ’11, who plans to visit the Donor Day table sponsored by Alumni House. “The Annual Fund allows alums to stay connected and to pass on to future generations the opportunities, resources, and love for the Colleges that they experienced while they were here.”