The Gustavus Annual Fund website says, “Tuition covers only a portion of Gustavus’s operating costs. The gap is bridged by loyal donors who choose to support higher education through the Gustavus Annual Fund.”
The Annual Fund is comprised of gifts from alumni, parents, friends and even current students of the college. Eighty percent of the funds support scholarships and other financial aid, and the other 20 percent goes to various initiatives such as “updates in technology, classroom resources and faculty development,” Katie Holmberg, assistant director of the Gustavus Annual Fund, said.
On Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Annual Fund will host an event outside of the Campus Center to promote the importance of philanthropy on campus.
GusLink is a student organization that employs current Gusties who call alumni, parents and friends of the college to discuss giving to the Annual Fund. The student workers get the opportunity to speak with many alumni, from this past year’s graduates to 10 or even 50 years ago. Many students join GusLink for a resume boost or for a change in employment, but they often find themselves passionate about the job.
“Ultimately, I applied for GusLink because I was looking for a job that was not in the [Marketplace] and would look good on my resume,” Sophomore Communication Studies Major Madison Pettit said.
“GusLink turned out to be a pretty fun job. I have had the opportunity to call alumni from years 1944 to 2010. When we call alumni, it is more than just to ask for gifts. [Alumni talk] about everything from their kids or their experiences at Gustavus back in the day, to asking about what the campus is like now or how I am liking my Gustavus experience. It’s always really fun to talk [to] alumni that graduated 40 or more years ago about what Gustavus was like back then,” Pettit said.
“As a [first-year] I started working at GusLink because I just needed a job. I chose to give a gift to the annual fund my [first] and sophomore years and plan to continue giving the next two years I am on campus and in years after graduation. While the dollars I contribute may not seem like a large enough amount to ‘make a difference,’ if everyone connected to [Gustavus] gave $10, an amount we so easily spend on a night out with friends, at Caribou or going to a movie, it would add up to an unbelievable amount of money,” Junior Management Major Stacey Tigges said.
Pettit said that without alumni help, Gustavus tuition would be 30-40 percent higher.
The program, which provides more details about the importance of the Annual Fund, will take place on Nov. 1 and is directed toward first-years, but anyone is welcome to come. There will also be the opportunity to donate at the event. “Your gift says ‘yes’ to inspiring futures, furthering dreams and making lives count,” a video on Gustavus’s website said. Visit the Gustavus giving page for more information.