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Philanthropy week events thank donors

By Molly Chiu     11/15/11 6:00pm

This week is National Philanthropy Week, and the Rice Annual Fund Student Initiative (RAFSI) is thanking those who give back to Rice University.

The Rice Annual Fund consists of donations each year from alumni, senior students, parents, faculty and staff.

According to Megan Peet, Assistant Director of the Rice Annual Fund, $1.3 million has been donated since July 1. RAFSI's goal is to raise $7.3 million by next July.



"Our university, as well as our many contributions to the world, exists today because of the generosity of William Marsh Rice and the generations of Rice alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends who have given their time and resources to Rice," Peet said.

According to Peet, money from the Annual Fund offsets the cost of tuition and supports student life and learning. It goes toward undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, research, student programs such as the Student Association, outreach programs like the Center for Civic Engagement, and campus activities like intramural sports.

As stated on the RAFSI website, RAFSI programs like National Philanthropy Week and the Senior Class Gift campaign are opportunities for students to thank donors who make such resources possible.

"We want to recognize people who have given back, no matter the size of the gift, to the institution and the community who enriched their lives," Jaclyn Youngblood, a Martel college senior and one of 19 RAFSI student volunteers said.

The week started off with a free T-shirt giveaway in the colleges. Then, everyone who wore the shirt on Tuesday was treated to a free drink at Coffeehouse.

Duncan College sophomore Caleb McBride, who wore the free T-shirt on Tuesday and received a free mango smoothie at Coffeehouse, said he liked the campaign.

"It's great that Coffeehouse is supporting National Philanthropy Week," McBride said. "I'm glad that we're able to recognize those who give back to Rice."

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, students were invited to write thank-you notes for donors at Willy's statue and in each college's commons.

Brown College freshman Rey Amendola said that he wrote a thank-you note because he wanted to recognize donors who give back to Rice students.

"I want to thank donors because I have a scholarship covering part of my tuition," Amendola said. "My Rice experience wouldn't be possible without their help."



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