Photo by Kate Nuelle
Most students don’t know that as the first month of spring semester draws to a close, the money supplied by their tuition payment stops covering their education. From the day Jan. 29 onwards, tuition costs are covered by both alumni and student donations. In hopes of raising awareness of and celebrating those who donate, Student Ambassadors and Alumni Relations and Development recognize Tuition Stop Day — an event held at Miller Fountain featuring T-shirts, games and representations of alumni generosity.
According to Katie Storey, director of Alumni Relations, donations are essential to funding students’ education, and any donation, regardless of the amount, contributes to building and sustaining campus life.
“Student Ambassadors and Division Alumni Relations and Development work to educate students and alumni on the importance of participating in giving, in any amount! Student and alumni donations not only help to cover the cost of basic operation for the university but also to build new and innovative buildings, fund research and a number of other key elements that make Trinity a top university,” Storey wrote in an email interview.
The date of Tuition Stop Day is in itself significant, representing the day that students’ tuition payments stop covering the cost of attending university. Student tuition only covers 64 percent of an academic year, while donations make up the remaining 36 percent.
“The reason why [Tuition Stop Day] is chosen on the 29th is because it is a symbolic end of the school year if we only relied on tuition. Tuition Stop Day is a nice way to reflect on donations and what they provide to the school,” said Mary Frances Lembke ‘21, student ambassador and chair for the event.
While Tuition Stop Day serves to thank alumni for their contributions, both Student Ambassadors and the Office of Alumni Relations and Development remind current students that their contributions also have a far-reaching impact on campus.
“Give where it means the most to you! Whether you are a student-athlete, a first-generation student, love the theater or any other campus passion you might have – you can give specifically to the areas that mean the most to you. For students, we encourage you to simply participate — give something, somewhere,” Storey wrote.
Lembke also emphasized the significance of current student donations, explaining that any amount can contribute to sustaining campus organizations.
“Student Ambassadors, especially as of late, have really been pushing for students to donate to specific organizations that they really care about and seeing micro-effects of it. If you donate to a specific organization that you’re really passionate about, that cultivates a spirit of philanthropy that can extend past your time at Trinity,” Lembke said.
At the end of the day, Tution Stop Day provides an opportunity to give thanks to donors who have made the school year possible, according to Student Ambassador Rojan Shrestha.
“Just being able to appreciate the rest of the year being provided by people that actually care — I think that’s pretty important for a lot of people to understand,” Shrestha said.