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 SCU alumni take on "Leavey Challenge" to raise over $1 million for the Santa Clara Fund

The spirit of Broncos Giving Back has come alive this year on campus as the Leavey Challenge prepares for its final push to the finish line.

The effort aims to attract 9,000 alumni to make a gift of any size for Santa Clara University programs by June 30, 2013. If successful, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation will make a generous $1 million grant to the Santa Clara Fund in support of student scholarships, research opportunities, study abroad experiences, immersion trips, and more.

Established by alumnus Thomas Leavey and his wife Dorothy in 1952, the Leavey Foundation is a true Santa Clara story. Thomas, a 1922 graduate of SCU, went on to start Farmers Insurance and developed a lifelong commitment to philanthropy in California—something that continues to live on in the next generations of his family.

The Leavey Foundation has a long legacy at Santa Clara, where it endowed the Leavey School of Business and constructed the athletics arena. Its name can also be found on many other campuses across the country, including Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, and USC. For 60 years the Leavey Foundation has made contributions to organizations that impact the world, and this challenge grant to SCU could help many current Santa Clara students.

Unlike past giving initiatives at Santa Clara, this is an all or nothing challenge. Instead of matching each gift dollar-for-dollar or paying a grant based on each percentage increment raised, the Leavey funds will only be released to the University if 9,000 alumni make a donation. This means that every small donation counts, and every alum can really make a difference to help reach SCU’s goal.

But why is 9,000 the key number? Last year Santa Clara set a new record with 8,145 donations, representing an impressive 21.42 percent of our undergraduate alumni base. This put SCU at the top of the West Coast Conference schools but still below peers like Boston College and USC. With this in mind, SCU aims to achieve a 23 percent donation rate (9,000 gifts) from undergraduate alumni this year. The donation does not have to be large, even a few dollars will count, but SCU is banking on a large display of generosity from undergraduate alumni this year in order to complete the Leavey Challenge.

Most importantly, this is an opportunity for our current alumni to honor generations of past graduates whose gifts have transformed SCU over the years. Strong alumni giving demonstrates commitment, gratitude, and a sense of investment in the educational mission of the University.

Making a donation is easy and can be done online. Alumni can also direct their gifts: pick scholarships, a department you loved, or a sports team you supported the most. Continuing to donate is one way to leave a legacy at Santa Clara University, and this year, that legacy could be matched by a $1 million donation from the Leaveys. Join in the spirit of Broncos Giving Back!

By Megan Anders, '14 Sustainability Intern -- Athletics and Recreation

Tags: Community Engagement, Program Highlights, SCU Alumni



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