Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015 - (Page 10)

DON O R I M PAC T textbook fund helps create LEVEL PLAYING FIELD It started as a survey question to firstyear students: "Have you purchased all the textbooks needed for the semester?" When 300 students answered "no" on that retention survey, Lynn "Chick" Blue, like many donors to the university, took it upon herself to do something. Blue, vice provost and dean of Academic Services and Information Technology, established a fund in 2013 to help students with financial emergencies buy necessary books and supplies. Since that time, donor gifts have expanded the fund and made it possible for students to receive much-needed help. Blue said she was "surprised and saddened" when she learned about the many "no" answers to that survey question. "It's critical to make the classroom a level playing field, and that 10 Spring '15 means all students need to have the same materials." Since then, the Student Textbook and Supplies Fund has helped hundreds of students. The fund and another to support the Educational Support Program's book fund were the focus of an alumni fundraising event last fall and a university campaign on #GivingTuesday, a national dedicated day for nonprofit giving. The Alumni Leadership Event, held November 5, raised more than $13,000, and 71 donors gave $3,280 on #GivingTuesday. Jill Dooley, senior director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, said the campaign presents a great example of how one person can make a difference. "#GivingTuesday allows us to look beyond the rush of that time of year and focus on our legacy and the kind of impact a single individual can make when multiplied by many," Dooley said. Fred Davison, '69, attended the November 5 event and said the energy in the room was amazing. "The group of people there was very committed to the university and very committed to this cause," said Davison, past Alumni Association president and board member. "Whatever their donation was, people felt like it was making an immediate impact. Getting more people involved in funds like this makes sense, then the commitment doesn't need to be so large." Blue said the Student Textbook and Supplies Fund "strikes a chord" with nearly everyone who went to college. "Many of us who went to college remember how much books cost," she said.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015

Campus News
Donor Impact
Behind the gallery
Beer boom
Reenactment takes center stage in classroom
Global GV
Focal Point
Q&A Harmon, DesArmo
Off the Path
Alumni News

Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015