Donations impact HPU community

By Savannah Simons, Staff Writer/Organizations Editor

April 24, 2013

It’s hard not to notice High Point University with its beautifully designed architecture, state of the art classrooms, and a student body made up of people from across the nation and the globe. Students at HPU are truly given an extraordinary education with the ability to obtain an internship, receive scholarship money and study abroad. What makes this possible for each and every student here at HPU? Donations.

Donations come from all over, whether it is through alumni, current students or even admirers of the university. Annual funds, Phonathon, March Mayhem and alumni award banquets are just a few events HPU holds, giving friends and families the opportunity to donate and give back to the HPU community.

Justin Stiller, assistant director of Alumni Relations, focuses on young alumni giving and giving percentage. He makes phone calls and sends out direct mail appeals and emails. While a large percentage of donations are given by older alumni, Stiller emphasizes the importance of young alumni giving because all gifts, regardless of size, make a difference.

“Since this school is graduating students at an exponential rate now, our alumni base is going to be predominately young alumni,” said Stiller. “In 7 years, 40 percent of our alumni will be young alumni.”

From 2011 to 2012, a total of 3,066 gifts were given and $16,883,602 was donated to the university.

Where exactly does this money go? The total amount was divided up and distributed to the HPU Fund, scholarships, program and departmental support, and faculty support.

“All donations go back to you guys,” said Stiller. “That’s why we’re here, for your education.”

Stiller explains that annual funds are one of the quickest, most efficient ways to give back. Donations go back to campus, go directly into technology, study abroad, scholarships and more.

Stiller says that money can be donated into either an annual or endowed scholarship. An annual scholarship allows the donor to give a fixed fee every year to award students, whereas an endowed scholarship is an initial amount of money that collects interest and is used to pay for the scholarship.

Although HPU does not hold traditional fundraiser events, the Phonathon raised nearly $200,000 in contributions. The Phonathon allows students to speak with alumni and parents of students. Each gift donated to the HPU Fund helps career services, specifics schools such as the communication or business school, and many more.

Every student has the ability and opportunity to give back, whether as a current student or alumni. No matter the size, any donation makes a difference and shapes the HPU community. Without these gifts, HPU would not have achieved the accomplishments and goals it has made today.