By Amy SpoonerMarch 5, 2014
On Thursday, March 12, colorful balloons and signs will fill the Law Quad. No, it's not already time for football tailgates. It's Philanthropy Awareness Day, a reminder that the entire Michigan Law community is made better through the support of private donors.
The event was launched in 2013 and was so successful that the Office of Development and Alumni Relations decided to make it an annual occurrence, noted Todd Baily, assistant dean for development and alumni relations.
"The results of our donors' generosity are all around us—from spaces like the Aikens Commons and the Kirkland & Ellis Café, to the activities of our clinics and student organizations, to our students who have received scholarships," Baily said. "Philanthropy Awareness Day helps our community see the connection between daily life in the Quad and the money that makes it possible."
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 said 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 important to understand that community is lifelong. Michigan Law graduates are incredibly passionate and generous, and they deserve our heartiest thanks for their loyalty to the Law School." The first step toward gratitude, he said, is to truly understand all the ways private support makes a difference.
During Philanthropy Awareness Day, signs posted throughout the Law School will 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. "We hope students will see that alumni and all of us at the Law School are invested in their success," said Janice Glander, director of annual giving. "Therefore, we hope students will carry on the tradition and do their part after they graduate."
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 12. 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 13 through the Law School's Twitter and Instagram accounts (@UMichLaw).
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