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Giving Update May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Lending a Hand: Students Make a Difference Through Philanthropy

Even while faced with rising educational and living costs, many students are rallying to help each other and those less fortunate, from supporting relief efforts in Haiti to funding scholarships to ensure that ­students of all social and economic backgrounds can ­attend UC San Diego.

UC San Diego students worked together to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. In the days following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, students gathered on Library Walk to raise $16,000 for Red Cross relief efforts. 

“It is easy to feel isolated from the events on the news, but this is how we can collectively take action as a campus community,” said Kenny Pettersen, a senior at UC San Diego and a driving force behind the fundraising activities.

With the UCSD Student Foundation, students are turning their attention to ensuring that their peers and future students will continue to have access to the world-class education that our University offers. Established in 1999 when alumni Marc, ’79 and Patty, ’83 Brutten seeded an endowment for students to manage, the UCSD Student Foundation promotes and facilitates the spirit of philanthropy throughout campus. 

The Student Foundation’s “I Pledge UCSD Campaign” is the University’s largest student-initiated gift giving endeavor. Students pledge five dollars quarterly to undergraduate scholarships. Since it began in 2005, I Pledge participants have raised $40,000 to support their fellow students and, each year, two students receive a scholarship award of $1,000. With this special focus on raising scholarship funds, the Student Foundation is helping to foster a diverse campus community. 

“In these times of increased education costs and decreased access to higher education, it is even more important for students to take the initiative to give back,” said Katie Hall, ’10, president of the UCSD Student Foundation. “Collectively, we are making a difference and creating more opportunities for ­students of all backgrounds to attend UCSD.”

UC San Diego—ranked 2nd best university by Washington Monthly for its positive impact on the country—is home to more than 70 service-oriented student organizations, sparking a lifelong tradition of giving back.