Foundation to form new student board

Riley Guerzini, News Editor

Students with a passion for philanthropy will be given an opportunity to participate in their interests beginning next semester.  

The university Foundation will be accepting applications for a new Foundation Student Advisory Board throughout the semester.

“They will be providing a student perspective to our board members,” Assistant Director of Development Maggie Hurm said. “The Foundation board really wants more interaction with students as well so they are kind of going to serve that role too.”

Students on the board will be networking with alumni and community business leaders as well as starting a student fundraising campaign.

“We are thinking that the funds that this group raises can go back to the students and they can operate like a mini Foundation,” she said. “So, students can put a request in and they will be able to review those requests and give money back to the students.”

Students who donate to the Student Advisory Board will be inducted into giving societies based on how much they donated.

The board will be formed to celebrate the 50th year of the Foundation. The university recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

Hurm said having more students involved in the Foundation will enable them to learn more about the experiences of students which will also help in their fundraising efforts.

She said that the Foundation tried something similar in 2014 called ‘All in for USI’ but it ultimately failed due to low participation.

“It was more of a grassroots effort,” she said. “It didn’t have the prestige that this society is going to have.”

Similar organizations have been formed at other universities like Indiana University and Purdue University. Purdue’s Foundation Student Board, for example, provides “leadership opportunities and educates students about the impact of philanthropy at Purdue.”

The board will consist of two students from each college, two graduate students, and two at-large members totaling 12 students.

Within the board, there will be an executive committee composed of a chair, vice chair, chair of development, chair of allocations and a chair of communications events.

“Creating a cultivated group of students with a really elevated position usually makes the group stronger and attracts more students to it,” she said. “When I was a student I had no idea what the Foundation was either so hopefully it will also help them understand what we do.”

Applications will be available on the Foundation’s website. Applicants are also required to submit a letter of recommendation. Hurm said there is no deadline yet to apply.

She said the Foundation will be selecting candidates this spring and they hope to have the group in place by the fall.

“A group like this is really important on campus because it promotes that culture of philanthropy,” she said. “We hope that this helps students understand what the Foundation does, the impact that charitable support has on campus and we hope that through that understanding students will become alumni and want to give back to their alma mater.”