Students Express Gratitude to Donors

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Students write personal notes about the opportunities made possible by the donors supporting their education at Illinois Wesleyan.

Feb. 19, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – For the fourth consecutive year, Illinois Wesleyan students, faculty and staff grabbed pens and notecards on President’s Day to personally thank the donors whose gifts make an IWU education possible.

That’s because Feb. 15 (falling this year on President’s Day) marks the point in the academic year when, symbolically, financial support from donors kicks in after tuition dollars run out.

“Tuition revenue covers about 70 percent of IWU’s total operating budget,” said Van Miller ’04, director of annual giving. “The rest is made up by other sources like private gifts from alumni and friends, our endowment and external grants. So one way to think about the impact of outside support is to highlight the time of the academic year – about 70 percent of the way through – when tuition dollars stop covering costs and other sources kick in.”

At tables set up in locations around campus, students wrote messages of thanks. Some Titans wrote to donors about favorite IWU experiences, such as leadership opportunities, learning from committed, caring faculty, and the chance to study abroad. Others just scrawled a huge “THANKS” across the postcard. Students in the Language Resource Center thanked donors in Greek, French, and Spanish via a video clip.

Faculty and staff also noted their thanks this year through video clips as well.

Associate Professor of Sociology Meghan Burke reminded alumni that as students, they had been on “the receiving end of the time and investment that we place in you with our time and our energy and our expertise because we care so much about our students. Thank you for giving back and continuing to support our work at Illinois Wesleyan University.”

Bevin Cowie ’10, now on staff with the Action Research Center, noted the scholarships she received as a student helped make her Illinois Wesleyan experience possible and made her aware of the need to help make that experience possible for future generations. In her first year as an alumna, she said she made a donation of $10. “Every little bit helps,” she said in her thank-you video.

IWU depends on the generosity of donors to bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of an Illinois Wesleyan education. To make your gift today, visit or call 1-800-689-9743.