Student donations to net scholarships

Jackie Valley

Small change makes big changes.

That is the message Kelly Brant, assistant director of Annual Giving, hopes students receive from the Campaign for Change, a new philanthropy initiative on campus aimed at students.

“Your dollar is going to work magic,” she said.

Brant said the campaign will begin planting the seeds of philanthropy among students, while allowing them to reap the benefits of their own donations via eight scholarships created directly from all money donated.

“If every individual on Kent’s main campus gave 2 dollars each, that would be more than $36,000 in scholarships,” she said. “I love that statistic because it just shows the power in numbers.”

In addition, Brant said the campaign allows the “ordinary, average Joe” undergraduate student at Kent State a chance to win a scholarship.

All full-time, undergraduate students who donate any amount of money to the campaign are eligible to win one of the scholarships, regardless of academic standing or athletic achievement.

Brant said many other universities have student-giving campaigns – often in the form of senior class gifts – but Kent State has not had any student philanthropy campaign in years.

For example, Ohio State University has an annual class gift as its student philanthropy initiative, which is also open to all students.

Tina Thome, class gift coordinator at Ohio State, said although the universi ty tried allowing students to donate gifts to the college or school of their choice, Ohio State returned to its traditional class gift because the students liked to see a tangible result of their donation.

Recent class gifts at Ohio State include new benches on the Oval, an area like Manchester Field and beautification of Mirror Lake.

However, Brant said Kent State wanted to try a different approach to student philanthropy.

“We’re a different breed here,” she said, adding the Campaign for Change is a “hip, cool way to put a spin on philanthropy” because it immediately benefits undergraduate students.

Senior theater major Robin Shorter, a Campaign for Change volunteer, said the campaign is an opportunity for students to start helping others, while possibly being rewarded for it.

“Students now are getting more and more involved in the world outside of Kent and they have to realize we are going to be the future,” she said.

Junior computer science major Keith Davis said the campaign has the “right intentions,” but he said it may be hard for all students to commit money.

“I think it’s redundant for me to put money in,” he said. “I’m already digging into the debt hole.”

Even so, Brant said the university is aware of the costs burdening many students.

“We understand students are strapped for cash,” she said. “We constantly have that in the back of our mind.”

She said students should give an amount they feel comfortable donating because the idea is “not how much you give, just that you participate.”

“It’s a great opportunity for students both to get a scholarship and to see how their philanthropy benefits others,” she said.

Donations will be accepted until Dec. 7. Randomly selected scholarship winners will be notified during fall semester exam week.

To donate, visit Donations can be made via FLASHcards, debit or credit cards.

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].