Last Saturday, April 21, I, as well as a group of fellow students, attended the 29th Annual Alumni Scholarship Ball, an event designed to raise money for scholarships, while also providing an entertaining night for everyone who attends! Last year I missed the age cutoff for the event by four days since the event was on April 16 and my birthday on the 20, so I was really excited to experience the event that I heard so much about!
Entering the Rec Center, everyone was given an iPod Touch for the night to bid on items, and then we moved into the main room where there were bars, hors d’oeuvres, and many items up for auction laid out across a nicely and simply decorated room. After some time for everyone to mingle, the curtain between the two halves of the room was raised and we processed into the dining room where the action began. It was amazing how quickly funds were raised, and before long, President Kaplan announced that we were close to raising $250,000! The night continued offering attendees a delicious meal, a live band, and speeches from the honored attendees of the night, including three distinguished alumni award recipients (Debra A. Bremer ’90 M.B.A., K. Oni Chukwu ’94 M.B.A., and David J. Peterson ’88 B.S.), and the President’s Award recipient, Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 E.M.B.A.
I don’t know that many students realize the amount of effort that the university puts into fundraising in general and, specifically, for scholarships. This statistic is used over and over again by UNH, but it’s true that 80+ percent of students here receive some form of financial aid. Part of that is due to the generosity of these alumni and friends of the university who come together to give back to our community. It’s easy to forget that when you look at a building and see a name on it, there is a person with that name who gave back to improve the university and give us, as students, what we want and need. As a student who has received a scholarship for my four years at UNH, it was nice to put name with a face for some people, and to see the masses that gather to raise funds for students like me. Thank you to all of you!
I wish every student at the University of New Haven had the opportunity to attend an event like the Scholarship Ball so that they, like me, could see the group of people that they have to thank for their scholarships and improvements to the campus. The night was truly enjoyable, and I’m very glad that I was able to experience it before graduating! I have Scott Kazar and USGA to thank for funding the table I sat at, so thank you too! Because of the “free” seat, I took it upon myself to bid on a Thomas Hooker beer tasting for four, and I won! See, I gave back to the university too, and I haven’t even graduated yet!
Giving back to the university is something that everyone should consider as they graduate from UNH. It’s not always about the amount, a fact proven by the improvement in UNH’s rank as a college, which is due in part to the alumni giving percentage. So when you’re looking back after graduating and you can’t decide whether or not to donate, don’t go to Dunkin Donuts for two days and instead, donate that coffee money to UNH as a thank you for your education and experience!