3 years ago

American Magazine: August 2014

Giving is a personal

Giving is a personal endorsement of the university and the experiences alumni have here, and it helps solidify AU’s prominence. GIVING TO ONE’S ALMA MATER does more than demonstrate gratitude, an ongoing connection to the institution, and a commitment to the educational values of the university. It’s also a sign of community. Toby McChesney, SPA/BA ’02, generously gave $25,000 in the hope of challenging his fellow alumni to join him in making a gift by the end of the academic year. When we were approaching our goal of 1,000 donors, alumnus Rajiv “RJ” Narang, SPA/BA ’02, stepped up and gave a gift of $5,000 to extend the challenge for an additional 500 donors. We reached 1,575 donors in all. Alumni answered the call. They met and surpassed both goals. In fact, during the fiscal year, thousands of donors gave more than $1.9 million to our annual funds, providing financial aid for students and money that provides the lifeblood for much of AU. This says a lot about AU community and AU pride. Giving is a personal endorsement of the university and the experiences alumni have here, and it helps solidify AU’s prominence. But giving is just one demonstration of AU pride. Another indicator is the personal time alumni offer to the AU community. Just last year, there were more than 13,000 contacts between alumni and students, and more than 1,200 alumni volunteers involved in the life of the university. Nearly 1,000 people participated in activities tied to the men’s basketball team’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Alumni also rallied around the women’s basketball team, which received an at-large bid to a postseason tournament for the first time ever. And the women’s volleyball team not only went to the NCAA Tournament but also beat Georgia and Duke to make it to the Sweet 16, its best showing ever. As we prepare to welcome an unprecedented number of freshmen this fall, now is the time for alumni to demonstrate to those new students their commitment to AU. That will instill in these freshmen—and those in future classes behind them— a similar lifelong commitment to the university. We work hard to nurture that kind of engagement, and I know that we’ll continue to do that very well. Alumni are a critical part of our success. Giving is something we can do together—as a community—to demonstrate our strength, and further strengthen, American University. Sincerely, Thomas J. Minar, PhD Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations 38 AMERICAN MAGAZINE AUGUST 2014

giving MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS BETWEEN STUDENTS AND ALUMNI inspire learning and foster lasting relationships. The Alumni Association hosts a variety of events that bring students and alumni together. Students benefit from the advice and guidance of experienced, professional alumni, who continue to be a vital part of the AU community. AU WILL WELCOME A FRESHMAN CLASS this fall that’s just as strong and talented as prior crops of students. Early decision applicants, those who declared AU as their first choice, numbered 950—the largest in AU history. Early decision applicants will constitute more than one-third of the Class of 2018. TOBY MCCHESNEY, SPA/BA ‘02, ISSUED A CHALLENGE and nearly 1,600 people stepped up, making a gift to AU during the last two weeks before commencement. This demonstration by alumni of their commitment to the university set a great example for the Class of 2014. FROM REUNION PLANNING AND RECRUITING TO CHAPTER PROGRAMMING and more, alumni volunteers are the lifeblood of the university. Whether you’re an active chapter leader, a student mentor, or a school-based volunteer, there’s a plethora of ways to give back. Visit ALUMNI CELEBRATED EAGLE PRIDE IN DROVES this year. The men’s basketball team’s appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament sparked spirited watch parties around the world. Alumni also cheered the women’s basketball squad on to its first-ever postseason tournament. And the women’s volleyball team made it all the way to the Sweet 16—its best showing ever. WHETHER YOU’RE STROLLING THE QUAD or attending an athletics event, art exhibit, or alumni gathering, you’re always welcome back on campus. Enjoy free parking on campus after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends, as well as a free shuttle from the Tenleytown Metro station every day. Also, join the record number of alumni who return to AU every fall to celebrate All-American Weekend. ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRUCE MORSER AMERICAN.EDU/ALUMNI 39