Mention philanthropy, and images of people firmly established in their careers or individuals approaching retirement come to mind. Some of the newest faces in philanthropy at the College of Pharmacy break that image with thoughts of their May graduation still vivid as they experience the first days of their pharmacy careers.
Members of the Class of 2011 wanted to leave a legacy that would honor and celebrate their graduating class, express gratitude for support they received from family and friends, and pave the way for students who will follow them … and they didn't want to wait 20 years or more to start. In this spirit, a group of students came together during their final year of pharmacy school to coordinate a pledge drive that would rally their classmates to pay tribute to the college with a lasting contribution to start immediately.
"I decided to participate in the Class of 2011 pledge drive because I wanted to give back to the college," said Saadia Ali, pledge drive participant and 2011 graduate. "The plethora of opportunities that were presented to us, such as travel stipends to pharmacy conferences and scholarships, exist due to the generous monetary contributions made by alumni of the college. Our successes are due to the financial and motivational support of those who graduated before us, therefore I felt it was necessary to continue this chain of support."
Other classmates agreed. "I decided to participate in the Class of 2011 pledge drive to give back to the College of Pharmacy for the time and effort that was invested in me," said Stephen Lozano. "I am very honored and proud to be a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, one of the top colleges of pharmacy in the world."
Although previous classes have participated in pledge drives as alumni, the drive by the Class of 2011 is the first of its kind at the college where students actively campaigned for pledges while in the thick of their final-year rotations. The Class of 2011 exceeded expectations and raised an impressive $45,000 in pledges.
"Being a part of this pledge drive was meaningful and inspiring as I kept in mind that my time and money will be amplified through this cause," continued Ali. "Additionally, encouraging my colleagues to participate and receiving positive feedback regarding this cause was very exciting and set a good example for future classes to continue this new pledge drive tradition."
Their good example is being noticed. Members of the Class of 2012 are following the trail blazed by the Class of 2011 and are already working to pull together their own class pledge drive.
A major component of the drive involved educating students about philanthropy and funding at the university. For instance, in the past 25 years, state appropriations have dropped from 47 percent of the university's budget to 14 percent while the revenue received from the Available University Fund (AUF) has dropped from 12 percent to 7 percent of the budget. These funding reductions have forced colleges, schools, and units to depend increasingly on private support to maintain the integrity of their programs. Such support helps to supplement scholarships, travel stipends, student organization budgets, and programming that are crucial components to providing a comprehensive, first-rate educational experience to students. Further, as academic curriculum and experiential requirements continue to strengthen and expand, fewer students are able to work while in school, making the availability of scholarship support essential.
Alumni of the Class of 2011 listed below have made monetary pledges to scholarships and programs that maintain their alma mater's exemplary standing. The college gratefully acknowledges our new class of alumni donors.
Saadia Ali – In honor of Bashir Ali and Saeeda Ali
Katherine (Leigh) Clark – In honor of Russell Clark and Katherine Woodward
Caitlin Davis – In honor of Richard and Kristin Moon
Claudia Dedman – In honor of Steve and Antoinette Dedman
Marisa Galan – In honor of Kerry and Jan Galan
Anyssa Garza – In honor of Jorge and Blanca Garza
Eryn Kennedy – In honor of Rex and Lydia Kennedy
Crystle Lopez – In honor of Lorraine and Rick Lopez
Stephen Lozano – In honor of Adolfo and Lilia Lozano
Heather Manns – In honor of Micah and Kim Manns
Misbah Moten – In honor of Ashraf and Razia Moten
Tyler S. Mohr
Christopher Nelson – In honor of Victor and Grace Nelson
Jenny Nelson – In honor of John and Betty Nelson
Alessandra Ochoa – In honor of Joe and Lydia Ochoa
Laura Porter – In honor of Cheryl Porter
Sara Solis – In honor of Aurora and Mateo Solis
Rajinder (Buddy) Sumair
Rene Verduzco, Jr. – In honor of Rene and Diana Verduzco
Sara VerShaw – In honor of Jack and Jean Harris
Angharad R. Webb – In honor of Rhian and Robert Webb
In addition to alumni listed, several contributors requested that their names not be published.