by Evanne Montoya
As of April 1, Whitworth students’ tuition payments no longer cover the cost of their education for the rest of the year. Instead, donor support, the endowment fund, and other university operations foot the bill.
Students on the Students4Giving Council worked to bring that message to students, and are now working to bring a new message.
“The point of Tuition Freedom day is that we as students are looking to raise awareness,” said junior Michella Sutherland, a member of the council. “We depend on our donors.”
Annual Giving Specialist Delynn Hampton said club members took many roles in organizing Tuition Freedom Day including setting up Prime Time visits to write thank you notes to donors.
“We’ll include those when we send out a thank you packet to those who recently made their first gift ever to Whitworth,” Hampton said.
Donations made to Whitworth can have a direct impact on students.
“Your tuition dollars wouldn’t cover a full Whitworth tuition even if you were paying full tuition, which most people don’t. There’s still another 30 percent that has to be covered by someone else,” she said.
Hampton serves as the adviser for the Institutional Advancement half of the council. The group was started in two parts. While Hampton and others in Institutional Advancement had begun to put together a group to serve as student ambassadors regarding philanthropy on campus, Rhosetta Rhodes, director of service learning and community engagement approached them with a group of her own. They discovered that their groups had many similar goals.
“We started talking about how we could combine those things, and now we have the hybrid council that is half Institutional Advancement-related and talking about alumni giving back to Whitworth, and the other half Service Learning and working with the philanthropy class,” Hampton said.
The Service Learning side of the club works with its adviser, Chapel program coordinator Toni Sutherland, on philanthropy in the community.
The Service Learning side raise money both within the Whitworth community and in the rest of Spokane, partially to fund the philanthropy class, which will carefully choose local non-profits to receive funding in Whitworth’s name, Michella Sutherland said.
Students4Giving is working on an event to let the campus know more about who they are. They are partnering with activities coordinator Pierre Biscaye for the concert April 20 featuring House of Heroes.
“He has graciously allowed Students4Giving to join forces with him and insert some information about philanthropy at Whitworth into the program,” Hampton said.
Along with having a couple speakers talk briefly in between sets about philanthropy, the club will sell snacks and hold a raffle. Profits will go toward the money to be given out by the philanthropy class.
“We want to make the Whitworth Community aware that Whitworth, in many different ways, gives back to the community,” Toni Sutherland said.
Students4Giving tries to create an understanding of the role philanthropy plays in a Whitworth education.
“We’re hoping to inspire a culture of giving at Whitworth so that once students graduate we can work together to continue to provide the type of education Whitworth is known for,” Hampton said.
Students who would like to become involved with either aspect of the Students4Giving Council can contact Hampton or Sutherland for more information.