Give SMU Days Sees Superb Donor Turnout

TC Clark

In a resounding display of generosity and support, Samuel Merritt University's (SMU) annual fundraiser, Give SMU Days, surpassed participant expectations this year, with a remarkable 50% increase in donations over the previous year. The event, held on May 14-15, marked the fourth consecutive year of the fundraiser, underscoring the growing commitment of the SMU community to its students' success.

The fundraising campaign, which aims to provide vital financial support to SMU students, saw a total of 135 donations pouring in, exceeding the goal of 115 gifts in honor of the 115th anniversary of SMU. Among these milestones, both the $10,000 "Strong Start Challenge" and the $5,000 "Board Bonus Match" were achieved early into the event, setting the stage for a successful fundraiser.

Reflecting on the significance of the event, Nick Driver, Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving, expressed profound gratitude to the supporters, stating, "Our supporters stepped up this year, and it shows. Every single dollar donated makes a tangible difference to the student it benefits, allowing us to be a special part of a future healthcare hero’s success story."

Robert Yu doing a sideways handstand on the sidewalk, red trees frame the scene from the background.
Robert Yu, Doctor of Physical Therapy student, Class of 2024

The impact of these donations extends far beyond mere numbers, as they directly contribute to the growth of SMU students. Robert Yu, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student, and recipient of donor-funded financial aid, shared his gratitude, emphasizing his excitement for giving back in the future. In his own words, "I have had the honor of receiving three scholarships. I am very thankful for these scholarships as they have helped me further pursue my education in physical therapy. Thank you to the donors and Samuel Merritt University for believing in me. I am excited to be giving back to the community in the future.”

In addition to the increase in donations, Give SMU Days also witnessed enthusiastic participation through various incentives. Popular among these incentives were a commemorative SMU Alumni Tote Bag offered to donors who gave $24 in honor of the Class of 2024, and an exclusive SMU T-shirt awarded to those who gave $115 in recognition of SMU’s 115th anniversary.

A standout feature of this year's fundraiser was the option to donate $500 to the College of Nursing, enabling donors to receive an exclusive SMU College of Nursing Jacket. This custom design, crafted by Oaklandish a renowned apparel company, is a symbol of appreciation for donors' commitment to supporting the future of nursing education.

With the conclusion of this year’s Give SMU Days, the University community celebrates not only the remarkable success of the fundraiser but also the collective spirit of generosity and compassion that defines the SMU family. Together, donors, students, staff, and faculty are laying the groundwork for a brighter and more promising future, one donation at a time.

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