Last weekend, I was invited to represent the University as a student for the President’s Dinner Gala. The event hosted hundreds of donors and potential contributors to the University of La Verne, in addition to the honoring of a distinguished alumnus, Dr. James Swift.
It was well organized and put together by everyone who contributed to the entire event, including University Relations.
However I left with the feeling that these events are essential for the sake of our University. How is ULV supposed to help its students pay for a tuition that is high for many and still allow them to have the peace of mind to focus on their studies?
Granted, many of us work other jobs in addition to potential work study money and other federal grants and loans. But it still does not add up in the end.
Personally, my father tells me all the time that if it was not for these grants provided before we pay my tuition, I would not be able to attend La Verne.
Even though these grants and scholarships may range from $5,000 to $8,000, every little bit helps when you are trying to pay for school.
Although, it still does not pay for the total, where can you go besides a state university where this happens? So you have to be happy you’re getting some financial help instead of nothing at all.
And I mean that with all the respect in the world. I believe private colleges are difficult to run in themselves because they receive no state funding.
So unlike several state institutions, ULV must rely heavily on scholarships and grants given by these esteemed individuals attending these dinners.
Many of these donors give for several reasons. It could be that they relate to someone like Dr. Swift, and his reputation for being a great humanitarian that started his college education at La Verne. Some may want to give the next generation of young people a chance to do what they like to do when they are out in the job market.
Others may want to see this institution thrive because of their ties and their willingness to help our school succeed in prestige and reputation.
I see how valuable it is to see these people want to help the University succeed not only for their recognition but because it is the right thing to do.
As a student, I also feel it is a little selfish to not have at least some sense of gratitude and appreciation that I can at least have a little more financial stability when I graduate.
It is hard to say thanks to someone you don’t even know for paying for part of your tuition but instead you can maybe show some appreciation to the University.
I know this is the part where you stop reading and say I am crazy but I mean it. If our school cannot provide funds like these, who else can help us achieve the goal of graduating without more debt on our minds?
I still have my share of money to pay back. But it is considerably less over my four years with the help of grants and scholarships.
For this cycle to continue and for ULV to grow in the future, seniors and future alumni must find the need to give in the future.
I know that is a lot to ask even for me, but once I am established financially, I want to be able to do just that.
I know it is the right thing to do not only for the next wave of Leopards but to show the strength of our alumni across the nation and in the world.
After all, La Verne, like many schools all over the country, is defined by its distinguished graduates, academics, facilities and perhaps most importantly, by its donations.
Galo Pesantes, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.