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Alumni gifts; a response to Matt Hansen’s Oct. 12 column

I don’t agree with everything that Matt said in his article in regards to the gifts that we as a college receive from the alumni. I work closely with the gifts that we receive from the alumni, and I talk with many of them at numerous “Thank You” events throughout the year and I have to say, Matt has it wrong.

Out of those gifts that alumni give to Concordia, the majority of each dollar is placed into the Annual Fund, a fund that provides 99% of students here with scholarships. Sure, the amount that each of us is receiving for those scholarships might not be the greatest amount individually, but collectively those amounts are fairly large.

Want to know how each of us students receives federal financial aid? It comes from the alumni. They give gifts to Concordia, and then the government looks at Concordia, sees how valuable the college is to its alumni based on the gifts that they gave in the past fiscal year, and that is how the government decides how much federal financial aid each of us students should receive.

I would like to meet a student that is paying every dime of the tuition for a year and then you can tell me that what we are paying as students is more important than the dollars that alumni are giving us every year out of their own pocket. They all went through and paid their dues to Concordia when they were students, so for them to be kind enough to give us their dollars to help us pay our tuition is something that I will be forever grateful of.

Sure, it’s a given that some alums are going to be upset with various happenings on campus. I’m sure that in the future, I won’t be 100% content with how things are changing, but that is okay. If things were the same now as they were 37 years ago when my mom was a student here, then I would be a little concerned and frankly, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to come to Concordia if that were the case.

The number of alums that do voice their negative opinions to what Concordia is doing as a whole is very small, and even though those gifts that they don’t give in regards to their views of campus as an alum are a small amount, they are an amount of dollars that we aren’t receiving for financial aid.

So it’s okay, we can BREW at Concordia, have things be the way that we want them to be as the student body, but we can also be thankful for the dollars that the alumni give to us to help us pay our $30,000 tuition bill every year and not shrug those gifts off as something that is not all that important. I can assure you, that after I graduate this spring I will be giving money to Concordia next year as an alum. Because I want to pay it forward, and help someone else be able to afford their $30,000 tuition bill and be able to experience this place that I will forever call home.

This letter to the editor submitted by Rachel Meier, Concordia 2013. 

One Comment

  1. Matt Hansen Matt Hansen October 27, 2012

    Rachel, I’m not convinced you actually read my article last week, but if you did, you missed the point entirely. My article was less about the actual alumni donations and more about the false fear students have when making on-campus changes. Of course alumni donate gifts. Of course we should be thankful. But all of this is irrelevant to the takeaway of my article.

    This response is not only illogical, but it fails to actually critique my argument.

    I appreciate your taking the time, however, to write a response.

    All the best,
    Matt Hansen

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