Helping fellow students is the core mission of Bloomsburg University’s Community Government Association (CGA). After seeing the level of excitement and energy generated for the It’s Personal campaign, members of CGA board knew they wanted to get involved.
“We all attended the campaign kickoff in October 2015,” says CGA president John Caserta. “The number of alumni, faculty and administration members that were there inspired us. As student leaders and representatives of the student body, we felt like we should help too.”
Guided by their mentors, faculty and staff advisers, the CGA Board began searching for the right gift to support the It’s Personal campaign in a way that would connect with their passion for helping their fellow students. “We told them, ask themselves what they’re seeing and what they’re feeling would be the best way to serve the student community,” says Neil D’Amato, CGA comptroller and co-adviser of the CGA Board.
In conversations among the board members, a common thread emerged. “They went around the room, and they each knew someone who had left the university because they were struggling financially,” says Tom Kresch, assistant vice president of student affairs and CGA co-adviser.
Former CGA President Sally McAvoy ’16 attended a meeting with Tom Fletcher, vice president of strategic enrollment. During this meeting, she learned of the It’s Personal Scholarship Fund, an emergency fund established specifically to help students in good academic standing who were in danger of not completing their BU education due strictly to financial circumstances.
“Once we heard about the It’s Personal Scholarship Fund, that really hit home,” says McAvoy. “We knew this was the right place for us, as the student governing body, to concentrate our giving efforts.” The CGA board made a $350,000 gift to permanently endow the It’s Personal Scholarship Fund, making it a resource available to BU students who need financial assistance to keep their educational dreams alive.
Funding for the gift was generated through two CGA revenue streams; proceeds from the university store and Honeysuckle Student Apartments. These revenue sources were created with a long-term goal of allowing the CGA to provide scholarship opportunities for BU students through future proceeds.
“I was proud of the students for making a gift that felt right,” says Kresch. “Not only because it aligned perfectly with the goals of the CGA, but also because it was personal for them. If they could help to make sure another student wouldn’t have to leave because of finances, then that’s what they would want to do.” •
— Tom Schaeffer