5 days of philanthropic ‘Thanks’
Six more students awarded $5,000 donor-supported scholarships during UND Spirit Week
“This is for UND Spirit Week,” UND Student Ambassador Allie Harvey told a student stopping by her booth at Memorial Union. She continued as the visitor grabbed a 100 Grand candy bar and an “I Heart UND” button. “In the spirit of giving back, we also have buy one, get one free cards for Archives Coffee so you can pay for the person behind you – just to show them some kindness.”
Harvey, a nutrition major from Lakeville, Minn., was just one of several students, staff and faculty helping spread love and gratitude during Spirit Week (Feb. 19-23), an annual celebration of the UND community and its generous donors.
Just a couple of hours after Harvey was asking others to show their UND pride and thankfulness, she received a call that filled her with an abundance of her own.
She was one of six recipients of a $5,000 Spirit Week scholarship, supported by a Giving Hearts Day donor drive on Feb. 8. Three additional scholarships were already awarded on that day, boosted by a partnership between the UND Alumni Association & Foundation (AA&F) and Dakota Medical Foundation.
“We had hundreds of students register for scholarships, and they’re all learning about philanthropy,” said AA&F CEO DeAnna Carlson Zink. “In February, you have Giving Hearts Day, then Valentine’s Day – which is all about the heart – and then Spirit Week, where you get an opportunity to go and thank those who helped make a difference in the lives of our students. How fun is this month?”
Pre-dentistry freshman Brooke Hunstad was also handed a $5,000 Spirit Week scholarship check, named after one of her scholarship supporters – Carrie Huwe, UND Creative Services art director and brand manager. Giving Hearts Day donors were entered into a drawing to have their names attached to these life-changing gifts.
“I want [Huwe] to know that I’m really going to try and put it to good use,” Hunstad said, grasping her oversized check, barely containing her bliss. “I hope one day I can do the same and give it back to another student, just like she did. Thank you so much!”
The AA&F’s own Roberta Beauchamp was one of the randomly-chosen donors to have a scholarship named after her. She had the chance to surprise her scholarship recipient, incoming freshman Taylor Ebertowski, during class at Red River High School.
“She was pretty shocked,” Beauchamp laughed. “I was totally thrilled and so very proud. I just love the UND campus and all of the students, and this was a nice opportunity.”
Tag – you’re thanked!
Among the most visible aspects of Spirit Week – from the buttons to the booths to the UND birthday cake – were the large green tags taking over several campus hot spots, indicating that the space had been made possible by a donor.
Muriel Kingery, AA&F director of donor relations and Spirit Week organizer, said the tags were a little idea that made a big impact. A UND representative shared a photo on social media of the marker on the room designated for the Poolman Leadership Academy. Jim Poolman, the donor behind the leadership academy, was the first to “like” the post, and commented on how special the shout out was to him.
“That is exactly what I had in mind when I was helping to create this,” Kingery said, “that this would give an opportunity for some of the students and staff to really say thank you for the great things that have happened on campus.”
The torrent of thanks poured into every area of campus. At the Memorial Union, a large chalkboard wall with the prompt “Thanks to philanthropy:” was artfully scribbled with passerby sentiments like, “I can attend UND with a scholarship” and “I am fulfilling my dreams.”
Tables set up at several colleges’ headquarters allowed students to sign posters capturing their gratitude or write personal thank you notes to donors.
Sophomore Spanish/Philosophy major Samantha Klocke noticed a Thank-a-Thon booth and penned a quick postcard message.
“I don’t think that they get direct appreciation when they give their donations, and a lot of time they don’t get to see the results and the effects that they have on the University,” Klocke said, adding her note to a growing stack. “So it’s nice to get a physical thank you as a reminder.”
As Kingery helped hand out the last of the scholarship checks on Friday afternoon, she was already thinking to Spirit Week 2019, and how her team can bring more attention to the people who are supported by the University’s benefactors, such as endowed professors and scholarship recipients.
“This has been such a good starting point,” Kingery said with spirited optimism, “but there’s so much opportunity for us to make it even bigger next year.”
UND Alumni Association & Foundation Scholarship Recipients
Awarded during Spirit Week (Feb. 19-23)
- Brooke Hunstad – Carrie Huwe Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Raegan Palesch – Jennifer Aamodt Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Allison Harvey – Rodney Kjellberg Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Taylor Ebertowski (incoming freshman) – Roberta Beauchamp Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Zane Janneck – Tim Shea Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Joshua Lieberman – Tom Gaudreau Giving Hearts Scholarship
Awarded on Giving Hearts Day (Feb. 8)
- Jace Dukart – Megan Glasow Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Shelby Stoltz – Monica Musich Giving Hearts Scholarship
- Matthew Brown (incoming freshman) – David Solseng Giving Hearts Scholarship