Community care: how donating gives back

The next time a news story is blasting over the television about people in other communities polluting, destroying, robbing, demanding or taking something from someone they should not, remember there are many people on this campus who unselfishly choose to give back.

There are 92 different endowed scholarship funds and over 100 annual scholarships at UVU. On Aug. 12, the first-ever endowment scholarship for this school’s MBA program was created. The endowment started with a $30,000 gift from a local businessman who wants to remain anonymous.

He started the fund to honor one of his business heroes, Gardner Russell. Using his financial success from business to help students across the globe, Russell has been an inspiring figure to the donor.

“He was vital in setting up technology trade schools throughout Central America,” the donor said in a press release from campus Marketing and Communications. “These tech schools will result in 700 job-ready graduates this year, who were previously unemployed or under-employed.”

Mr. Russell continues to inspire and uplift those around him.

Because it is an endowed scholarship, it will begin funding students’ education in the fall of 2012. The principal amount will never be used; only returns from the invested capital will be payed out. This endowed scholarship will continue to help generations of students.

This is exactly what makes living in Utah Valley and attending UVU so great. People here genuinly care about their community and want to help.

The evidence of caring is all around us. In the library, one can count the long list of donors who collectively contributed millions of dollars to build that structure.

When you walk down the halls, notice the paintings of men and women on the walls and names on the various buildings. Each of these donors had a different story. They all had challenges and problems they had to overcome, just like us. Yet they all decided to become a positive force for their community and in doing so, they paved a wonderful path for all students.

If you desire, you can start your own scholarship. Write a check out to the UVU Foundation and take it to the 2nd floor of the Alumni building. You can specify if you’d like it to be an endowed scholarship or not.

This university also has their own large general endowment that accepts individual contributions. In terms of a return on investment, UVU creates around $300 million each year for the local economy. For every $1 spent on UVU, it creates $6.22 for the larger community.

That’s money well spent.

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