September 23, 2011
Giving back: University of Utah alums giving back even more during tough times
(Geoffrey Fattah, Deseret News) — At a time when families are tightening their belts, most would expect people to be donating less, yet Ute alumni appear to be giving more for scholarships and to the university overall.
“Most of the numbers are up surprisingly,” said U. Alumni Association Director John Ashton.
This past fiscal year, Utes donated $488,280 to the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund, up 31 percent over the previous year. The year before, donations were up 17 percent.
Alumni officials say it’s hard to explain why the reverse trend has taken place, but they can identify a major source of donations comes from a familiar site on the road: university license plates. For $35 a year, many motorists choose to purchase college license plates from the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles. This past fiscal year, Utah motorists donated around $277,000. The funds go to support up to 80 students who excel academically but face unique challenges.
“It’s more critical than ever because tuition is going up in double digits every year. It’s more critical than anytime that I’ve been here,” Ashton said.
Other money is raised through a wide variety of events, including events scheduled to be held this Saturday to kick off the U.’s Homecoming Week. This year’s theme, “Pac to the Future!” reflects the university’s recent inclusion into the Pac-12.
For students receiving scholarships from those funds, the help means the difference between achieving a better education and future, and dropping out. More…Posted by: psilberman