Tomorrow marks the third annual Scholarship Luncheon celebrating donors and their contribution to support our UMBC students. This yearly meet-and-greet event is a great opportunity for donors to get to know the scholarship recipients and understand just how big an impact their gifts have on the UMBC students and community.
A highlight of the event is the opportunity to hear from two special speakers: a donor and a student. This year, donor Ken Pittman ’80, Economics, of PNC Wealth Management will share the story of why he supports UMBC and one of the Linehan Art scholars will share the story of how receiving a scholarship has changed her life and advanced her studies.
More than just a time to express gratitude, however, the scholarship luncheon promotes the possibility of future philanthropy – the students are able to see the faces behind the scholarships and realize that the people giving these gifts are real people with passions just like themselves with a desire to give back to others and their community. It’s heartwarming for the donors to meet the students face to face and students are also touched at the chance to learn the story behind the scholarship.
And even as the luncheon ends and our donors and students go their separate ways, the effects of their meeting often last beyond this day, beyond UMBC and even extend into the personal lives of the donors and recipients. One particular student was so grateful to his donor that he made the effort to follow up and maintain a relationship. Equally, the donors enjoy the chance to see where the students are after graduation: where they are working, what has happened in their lives and what they are working toward in their future.
As we at UMBC see it, this is what philanthropy should be: a lasting legacy and the chance to make new connections. We appreciate all the donors who support our students – you are making a very real mark on our campus and changing lives.