Thursday’s cold, rainy weather didn’t stop students from giving to this year’s senior gift, the Grant Street Park Project, and saying, “thank you” to last year’s donors at the Student Philanthropy Council’s (SPC) event at Stapleton Library. 

Students began to line up at the SPC’s postcard and free T-shirt table around 11 a.m., while the event’s speakers took the podium to express the importance of philanthropy. 

Event speakers included Heather Furlong (senior, geoscience), Dr. Deanne Snavely and SPC president Alexander Ickes (management). 

“As a student, you have the chance not to give back – but to give forward,” Ickes said. “The Grant Street Park Project is a way for all students to make their mark on IUP and continue a tradition of giving.”

SPC, along with the Office of Annual Giving, also gave students the opportunity to write a postcard to anyone who donated toward scholarship funds, educational programs and other IUP gifts in the past. 

In turn, students could enjoy group pictures with Norm, a free photo booth and food while they learned more about the impact philanthropy can make on the college experience. 

Chantel Glasser (senior, nursing) said Philanthropy Day is great for giving people the opportunity to donate and thank others.

“That’s so important to IUP [to] keep all the activities going,” Glasser said.

Snavely, who is also the dean of the natural science and math department, said in her speech that private gifts help to purchase lab equipment, scholarships, educational programs and other experiences students can enjoy on campus. While encouraging students to give, Snavely said it wasn’t the amount that mattered, but the “strong statement” giving implies.

“When you support IUP with your own philanthropy … you demonstrate to alumni, to government leaders and to foundations and corporations who might financially support us with larger gifts that you believe in your education or your work and in IUP’s mission,” Snavely said.

Seniors who attended Philanthropy Day were eligible to receive special cords for commencement if they donated $20.18 or more. 

Students were also made aware of alumnus Terry Serafini’s donation challenge to students. 

If 100 students per class donate to the Grant Street Park Project, Serafini will donate $10,000 dollars toward the senior gift. 

Students who want to donate can go to www.iup.edu/GivetoGrantStPark. 

The Office of Annual Giving hopes to reach 100 student donors per class in early April, citing April 12 as the last day of the challenge.

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