Student Philanthropy Council founded at DePauw Unviersity

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“Go. Give. Help. Connect.” That’s the motto of the newly-formed DePauw Student Philanthropy Council. 

Four students, Melanie Norton, Emily Smith, Andrew Smith and Kevin Bugielski, founded the council with the help of the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement. The council will address what Norton calls a “missing piece” in the philanthropic structure of DePauw: the students. 

The Office of Development and Alumni Engagement hopes that the Student Philanthropy Council will encourage student philanthropy and educate the student body about the impact and importance of giving back to the community. The office aims to promote more overall community service opportunities among a wider base of individuals.

 Students can become members of the council through an application process. At least 40 students have applied, and the application will remain open until 5 p.m. tonight. At least 16 students, four from each class, will receive a position on the council.

“We want someone who has a love for philanthropy, someone who is enthusiastic about being engaged, someone who believes in the mission of our office,” Norton said.

Students on the council will be asked to help bring ideas to their peers and to help the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement brainstorm methods to best promote philanthropy to the student body. 

The organizers behind the Student Philanthropy Council believe that the council can have impact outside of DePauw as well.

“Hopefully, this will promote a habit of giving for students while they are on campus and once they have left, of philanthropy both at DePauw and elsewhere,” Norton said.     She also sees the potential for DePauw’s Student Philanthropy Council to become a model for similar entities at other locations across the country. 

Sophomore MJ Hansen agrees that on-campus philanthropy events can benefit off-campus as well.

“When organizations have events on campus the people who attend spread the word back to their home communities about the good causes,” Hansen said. “It just overall increases awareness for them.”

Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Student Philanthropy Council organizer Emily Smith, a 2011 alumna, is very excited to explore what the future holds for the council and the impact it will have at DePauw. 

“I hope that the council will bring a layer of unity to DePauw that potentially could have been missing in the past,” Smith said. “I wish there had been something like this when I was a student.”