Students giving challenge

by Paula Polglase

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Student gifts to make greater impact thanks to the JMU Alumni Association

By Paula Polglase ('92, '96)

Alumn Assocationi Board member Carol Benassi visits with Pratt Templeton ('14)

Much to the surprise of the Student Alumni Association, the JMU Alumni Association Board of Directors announced a matching gift challenge to the SAA at their February meeting. The challenge offers a $25 donation to the Madison Forever Vision Fund for each new student who joins the SAA. Pratt Templeton (’14), SAA president said, “I felt a great deal of excitement and humility in the confidence that the Alumni Board has in the SAA, along with a tremendous responsibility to fulfill the goal of reaching 500 SAA members by the end of June.”

The Alumni Association Board was impressed with the progress the SAA has made in the last year in terms of leadership, strategic planning and results. “The group’s efforts have already resulted in an increase in student giving to the University over last year,” Larry Caudle, president-elect of the Alumni Association board said. “I was truly amazed at the group’s ‘eye on the ball’ approach to success.”

“I give to JMU for a simple reason- I care deeply about this institution, it's mission and the people behind it."                       Pratt Templeton ('14)

The SAA efforts have revived student giving at JMU. Although students are encouraged to give back any amount, students who donate $25 or more to any fund (excluding athletics) receive the benefits of SAA membership including volunteer, service and networking events where they interact with alumni. However, the real benefit is being part of a group who is changing the culture at JMU. Caudle says it is imperative to instill a culture of philanthropy toward the University in its young graduates. “The newly-created Student Alumni Association is a gesture by forward-looking students to take on the responsibility of educating our ‘Alumni in Residence’ on the financial realities of the Madison Experience and instill a tradition of giving back,” he said. “This will, no doubt, lead to a similar tradition in our alums.”

With the Alumni Association Board’s matching gift challenge in place Templeton can’t think of a better time for students to donate to JMU. He said, “I give to JMU for a simple reason- I care deeply about this institution, it's mission and the people behind it. I would encourage fellow students to give to what they are passionate about, all the while remembering that their gift, regardless of size, matters. If we want to see the success of JMU proliferate, our support is essential.”

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Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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