Studet Legacy Campaign: Tag, you're it

Legacy Campaign seeks to boost giving among students


Students leading the Legacy Campaign are challenging fellow students to a unique game of tag: decorating campus landmarks with orange price tags to call on peers to commit a little cash to BGSU.

Tag Day will be February 20. Student-paid tuition dollars don't typically fund the full cost of a college education, so the date was chosen to symbolize when donor contributions and state funds begin to make an impact.

BGSU students will notice various facts on the tags, including:

  • Last year gifts of $20 or less added up to more than $68,000
  • Tuition only covers 70 percent of the budget, but BGSU donors help fill in the rest
  • Most scholarships on campus are funded by private donations

February 28 will mark Student Philanthropy Day, a national day of giving supported by the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education. The Legacy Campaign will be directly asking their peers to make a gift that day.

The idea behind both events is to inspire students to give just a few dollars, said campaign chair Ryan Sowers, an Alumni Laureate Scholar.

"We know money is tight but $5 from every individual in an organization is not that much. That's one trip to McDonalds," Sowers said. "We'd like to see all students giving to their passions."

The Legacy Campaign has already recorded donations totaling $12,250. During the campaign kickoff in September, the core group of student leaders also publicly pledged to donate $5,000 of their own money. Foundation Board of Directors Chair and alumna Theresa Popp Braun '80, '85 has already donated the same amount.

President Mary Ellen Mazey has pledged a monthly match of $1,000, but only during months that student giving reaches that amount.

"The Legacy Campaign is about building a culture of giving among our student body," said Shannon Spencer, director for annual giving. "Many other colleges and universities have found that students who start giving now will continue their generosity as alumni. Alumni support actually impacts the student experience by providing additional programming, facilities, and scholarships."

Josh Deans, graduate advisor for the campaign, said he's proud of the strides already made by the core committee of undergraduates.

"I think the fact that this effort is student run should show how committed the students on this campus are to BGSU," Deans said.

The campaign is new for BGSU, which previously focused mainly on encouraging upperclassmen to give to philanthropic campaigns for the University.

The first donors to the campaign have supported the Gateway Project. This project is designed to restore the area of campus at Thurstin Avenue and Court Street, which was once the main entrance to campus. To be a part of the Legacy Campaign, students may choose to support the Gateway Project or make a gift to any other unit or program on campus.

Members of the core committee include:

  • Ryan Sowers, campaign chair and Alumni Laureate Scholar from Cincinnati
  • Alex Solis, president of Undergraduate Student Government and a junior from Lincoln Park, Mich.
  • David Neely, vice president of USG and a junior from Perrysburg
  • Beau Slater, undergraduate member of the BGSU Board of Trustees and a senior from Beavercreek
  • Sarah Swegan, Director of Dance Marathon 2012 and a senior from Bowling Green

Updated: 05/30/2019 01:12PM