Serving USD’s Greatest Needs
Alumni and Parent Gifts Benefit Students in Countless Ways
Whether they’re begging for a bump in their allowance so they can take a trip down the toy aisle, asking for a few bucks so they can go with their friends to a movie, or negotiating a loan to buy their first set of wheels, kids often turn to parents when they need a little extra money. So perhaps it’s no surprise that, even in college, it’s the generosity of parents that helps USD provide programs that enhance the student experience. Parents donated $250,000 to the Parents Fund during fiscal year 2014-15. The Parents Fund helps support university projects, initiatives and other needs that might not otherwise be possible.
“The parents at USD are so giving of their time, talent and treasure and their gifts make a tremendous difference to students on many fronts,” says Director of Parent Relations Renda Quinn ’86.
The Parents Association worked with the provost, Dr. Andy Allen, to determine the best way to allocate this year’s funding. It went toward increasing the Parents Fund Endowed Scholarship; providing travel funds for student conferences, club sports and study abroad experiences; assisting with summer housing costs; and providing stipends for the summer internship program and support for the Torero Treks program through USD’s Career Development Center. Torero Treks is a valuable professional learning experience, allowing students to become familiar with organizations in a small group setting, get a sense of office culture, and expand their professional network. The Silicon Valley Torero Trek, which occurred this spring, included visits to Adobe, Google and LinkedIn. Robin Darmon, director of USD’s Career Development Center, explained that support for the internship program began last year with $50,000 from the JD Power Family, including USD Trustee James D. Power IV ’85. The family hoped other campus groups and organizations would also be inspired to contribute. Gifts from USD parents helped make the family’s vision a reality. As a result, 52 students each received $2,000 stipends to make their summer internships possible.
“Students who might have had to turn down an internship because it involved travel or relocation or other expenses, were able to have amazing experiences that allowed them to get their feet wet and decide if a career was right for them,” Darmon says. “We also had students who now had the flexibility and financial support to take internships abroad or with start-up companies or nonprofit organizations that couldn’t afford to pay. It meant they could experience something that was near and dear to their hearts and still make ends meet during the summer.”
Likewise, the Alumni Association also decided how best to allocate the $125,0000 in contributions that USD’s graduates made to the Alcalá Alumni Fund in 2014-15. Those funds went toward Changemaker initiatives, student travel funds and Torero Treks. In addition, alumni contributed to a new Alumni Connections Fund in support of alumni engagement efforts, Alumni Association partnerships with athletics and the Alumni Endowed Scholarship.
Charles Bass, senior director of alumni relations, says giving so generously to the Alumni Fund is just one of the many ways alumni give back to USD.
“At USD, we are blessed with an alumni population that’s incredibly engaged, involved and supportive,” he says. “Their financial support ensures that the greatest needs of our students continue to be met. Our alumni support their alma mater in countless ways — this is just one of many examples of their incredible generosity.”
— Krystn Shrieve