St. Bonaventure University

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Bona freshmen go “all in” with philanthropy

Aug 30, 2019

Good things happen when people join together in support of others — that was one of the lessons learned when St. Bonaventure University’s Class of 2023 gathered for Welcome Days.

Each student received a dollar bill in their welcome packet and an invitation to consider donating the money to the university’s Bonaventure Fund.

This lesson in philanthropy resulted in two $250 scholarships randomly awarded to members of the class.

“It’s terrific to see our newest students embrace the spirit of giving,” said Rachel Elser, manager of the Bonathon. “The Welcome Days scholarship event helps develop a culture of philanthropy. Our goal is to reinforce the importance of giving back and to let students know their dollar can go a lot further than they realize.”

The scholarship recipients are Leslie Del Cueto, a journalism major from the Bronx, and Allison King, an inclusive childhood education major from Horseheads, New York.

“The engagement of people on campus is what I really love about Bona’s,” said Del Cueto. “It’s nice that we could all join together in giving a dollar, and it’s great to be a recipient of one of the scholarships.”

King noted the close connections she’s already forming on campus and the power of being part of a close-knit community. “Small gifts do add up and can really make a difference and show our support of one another,” she said.

The hope is that this symbolic exercise will remain with the incoming students, encouraging them to give back to their alma mater after graduation.

Elser said 65 percent of donors to The Bonaventure Fund last fiscal year gave $200 or less, which totaled $227,000. “While they might think their donations are small, every dollar adds up to make a powerful difference in the lives of our students.”

Gifts to The Bonaventure Fund enrich the educational experience, strengthen student support programs and expand financial assistance, Elser said.

“We’re inviting our community to be ‘all in’ for The Bonaventure Fund during this academic year,” she added. “I will be proud to share with the Bona Nation that our freshmen have done exactly that.”