One SCU student takes off on an immersion trip to El Salvador; another heads to the gym to practice for a championship volleyball tournament; a third student travels to Rome for a semester of study. The activities may be unrelated, but each of the students has something in common: a benefactor whose financial assistance makes it possible to participate in enriching, sometimes life-changing, college experiences.
Katherine Nicholson ’10, assistant director of student and young alumni giving in SCU’s Development Office, said 83 percent of SCU students receive some form of financial aid during their four years at the University. And considering the many extracurricular activities supported by donations, such as immersion trips, club sports, and study abroad programs, “there are even more students touched each year by support from alumni and friends of the University.
Up until now, she noted, there hasn’t been a way to say thank you. But that will change on Wednesday, April 24, with the launch of “Sprinksgiving,” a day of gratitude planned by the Development Office and the SCU Philanthropy Committee.
“We have a whole family of Santa Clara University Broncos who support our students in lots of different ways,” explained Nicholson. “We wanted to create a two-fold event that raises awareness about available support, while giving students a chance to show their appreciation.”
Sprinksgiving, which relates to Thanksgiving in spring, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the main library. Here, students may write a note and sign a giant thank-you card that will be shared with donors via email and social media. To help set the holiday mood, free turkey sandwiches will be provided.
Last year, more than 20 percent of SCU alumni donated to the Santa Clara Fund, which funnels all contributions to current undergraduates. Small gifts alone—of $100 or less—added up to nearly $800,000. The fund supports scholarships, academic programs, international study and immersion programs, and student initiatives.
“We’re interested in educating the student body about the impact that the larger Santa Clara family has on their education and time on campus,” said Nicholson. “Donors support not only academics through scholarships, but they help to make a student’s time on campus well-rounded and great.”