Philanthropy and social change work are at their best when they are driven by your values and connected to what you care about most.” –Charles Bronfman

This month we celebrate the impact of scholarships for our students at our annual “Evening of Gratitude” event. This special night brings together our generous donors and friends with those most impacted by their acts of giving, our students. It is often an emotional night measured in the many conversations and smiles when those that give get a chance to see how their resources have changed the lives of our students. In turn, our students tell their stories to our donors and express directly to them how much their scholarships have helped them in their journey.

Over the years, I am proud of our efforts to provide scholarships and grants to our students. We recently celebrated another successful Give Day and raised scholarship funds through events like the famous Doxie Derby. We lead the nation among all veterinary institutions in the amount of scholarships and grants provided to our students, this year approximately $7 million dollars. As a result of our efforts, our veterinary student’s debt load is well below the national average. Lower debt for our students means less stress for them to pay back their educational loans, but also allows them to consider careers based upon their passions versus altering their plans based on the need to pay back excessive student loans.

We annually award hundreds of scholarships, provide externship funding to 4th year students with financial need, and return approximately $4 million to aid to all students paying tuition and fees in the form of fee grants. For the average student, this cumulative support over four years covers the equivalent of a full year of tuition and fees. This exceptional support is made possible thanks to the generosity of the School’s many individual, organizational and corporate friends. My spouse, Donna, and I are proud to be donors, providing an annual scholarship to our student leaders.

Our feelings as donors are like many who share their resources to help the next generation. In giving scholarships, we gain so much more in knowing that our gifts align with our values that education is a key to our planet’s future. In helping those in need, we satisfy a basic need in all of us, to feel we have made a difference in the world.