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Philanthropy Awareness Day: Because We All Benefit

By Amy Spooner
March 10, 2014

The entire Michigan Law community is made better through the support of private donors, but that knowledge most likely isn’t top of mind for the Law School’s students, faculty, and staff. Philanthropy Awareness Day, which is taking place on March 13, seeks to change that.

Philanthropy Awareness Day

The event was launched last year and was so successful that the Office of Development and Alumni Relations decided to make it an annual occurrence, says Todd Baily, assistant dean for development and alumni relations.

“The results of our donors’ generosity are all around us—in obvious ways like the Aikens Commons or the Kirkland & Ellis Café, and in less obvious ways," Baily adds. "The goal of Philanthropy Awareness Day is to help our community see the connection between so many of their daily activities in the Quad and the money that makes those activities possible. The impact statements you’ll find scattered across the Quad help to underscore the expansive influence of private support on life at Michigan Law.”

Gifts from alumni and friends account for approximately one-third of the Law School’s operating budget, and in addition to student scholarships and fellowships, they help fund faculty professorships, facilities, speakers, student organizations, and much more. With the Law School having kicked off the $200 million Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign in November 2013, Baily says it’s more important than ever for the Michigan Law community to understand how philanthropy makes much of the Law School experience possible. “We all talk about the sense of community at Michigan Law, but it’s not a community that dissipates at graduation. Michigan Law graduates are an incredibly loyal, passionate, and generous group, and they deserve our heartiest thanks for all of their efforts on behalf of our School.” The first step toward gratitude, he says, is to truly understand all the ways private support makes a difference.

During Philanthropy Awareness Day, signs will posted throughout the Law School to highlight the ways private support impacts the Quad, such as the fact that more than 700 students are receiving scholarship support or summer funding from alumni gifts this year. Development and alumni relations office staff will be on hand to offer treats and “I Benefit” stickers to students.

Students are encouraged to take a photo of themselves or friends with an “I Benefit” sticker or by one of the “U Benefit” signs and post it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ubenefit by the end of the day March 13. Each submission automatically will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to MDen, just in time to get some spring-weather Michigan Law gear. The winner will be announced on March 14 through the Law School's Twitter and Instagram accounts (@UMichLaw).

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