Students thank donors during Tuition Freedom Day

February 27, 2012

Students give thanks during Tuition Freedom DayKris Bjornbak appreciates the guidance and knowledge he receives from University of Michigan-Dearborn faculty and staff.

But when the UM-Dearborn senior discovered that faculty and staff members also provide annual gifts to the University, Bjornbak said he felt “really honored and humbled.”

“If they believe that our education is worth giving back to the University, then students should feel the same,” he said.

In order to return the favor, Bjornbak and other UM-Dearborn students plan to participate in Tuition Freedom Day on March 7.

Tuition Freedom Day recognizes when students’ tuition dollars are used up, and the University’s operations depend on the gifts of donors, like alumni, faculty and staff. Those gifts support a number of programs across campus, including scholarships, research initiatives and resources to meet student needs and maintain campus growth.

For students, these gifts often play a critical role in their academic success by providing the University with resources to maintain its successful reputation.

Last April, the Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) hosted the campus’ first Tuition Freedom Day. Students canvassed UM-Dearborn’s campus with more than 250 signs that displayed statistics and facts about faculty, staff and alumni giving.

SPC encouraged students to sign thank you cards for individual donors, an idea that resulted in more than 700 signed cards. They also helped generate nearly 150 signatures on a large banner that thanked those who participated in the faculty and staff giving campaign. This year, SPC hopes to generate more involvement by making Tuition Freedom Day an engaging, enlightening and educational event.

By creating an awareness of the impact of giving to back to UM-Dearborn, SPC hopes students will feel supported and encouraged to stay connected and involved with the University even after graduation.

Click here to watch a video about Tuition Freedom Day at UM-Dearborn.

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