Love a Donor
Students Adrian Botta and Michelle Lin
Love is in the air at Carnegie Mellon University.
Valentine's Day is here, and it's Love a Donor Week, when students gather to express their appreciation to alumni, parents and friends for many opportunities and experiences that would not have been possible without their generous support.
One of those students is Lindsay Elliott-Foose, who will graduate in May with a dual degree in decision science and global studies with the dream of one day serving in the U.S. Foreign Service as a career ambassador.
"Donor support has meant that I have had the opportunity to expand my Carnegie Mellon experience outside of the classroom to the greater campus and beyond," she said.
She spent the summer between her sophomore and junior year studying abroad in Pune, India, on a Tartans Abroad Scholarship, and she has also interned in Washington, D.C., through a Humanities Scholars Summer Opportunity Grant and a Friedman Fellowship.
"These donor-supported experiences allowed me to apply my academic interests and experiences outside of campus and then bring back a greater understanding and appreciation," she said.
Love a Donor Week also educates students about the essential role giving plays in the life of a university. They learn that the university would not be able to sustain operations on tuition income alone.
Arun Ramakrishnan studies mathematical sciences at CMU. And as a telefund caller for the university, he is a familiar voice to many CMU alumni, having called them on many occasions to ask for support. On one of his more memorable calls, he found the alumnus' enthusiasm for naming theater seats contagious.
"I had a conversation with a gentleman who was making payments for the seat he was buying in Rashid Auditorium in the Gates-Hillman complex," Ramakrishnan said. "When I asked him about his gift, he happily told me about how CMU's seat system works. That call was one of the driving factors for the purchase of my own seat."
The conversation inspired Ramakrishnan to become the first to name a theater seat in the new UC expansion project that is being planned for CMU's Pittsburgh campus. Ramakrishnan is a three-year consecutive donor to CMU.
"I choose to be a donor because I believe that Carnegie Mellon University makes a positive impact on the world," Ramakrishnan said. "It's a good place that helps hone talent and ensure that our future as a species keeps getting better."