Educating About Philanthropy


The McMurry Student Foundation (MSF) is among nearly 100 educational institutions worldwide to participate in National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day each year. But unlike other schools, McMurry uses the day to strongly focus on both philanthropy and stewardship at the same time. 

At this year’s Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day, students hand wrote personalized thank you notes to the University’s President’s Council level donors. Donors received the cards in the mail, along with a video showcasing the day’s activities and highlighting the gratefulness of McMurry’s students. 

“Before I was a member of the McMurry Student Foundation, I didn’t know how much donations, both big and small, help the University,” said Nicole McGunegle `14, last year’s vice president of the McMurry Student Foundation. “Many students would not be able to come to McMurry without the help of funds provided by donors, so this is our way to thank them for all that they do for us.”  

In addition to thanking donors, the organization also fundraised throughout the year to donate to the University. Last year, MSF raised and gave back more than $1,500 – supporting causes like the Betty Gilbert Endowed Scholarship and a movie night on campus with the Campus Activities Board. However, the majority of these funds were used to purchase new equipment for the recreation center. The decision to support health and wellness was determined through a student wide vote. This fundraising initiative empowered students to make a difference on their campus and helped MSF further the important message about philanthropy. 

“Our goals for next year are to raise and give more to the University, to include more students and to encourage them to donate as well,” said Shelby Wattenbarger ’15, current president of the Student Foundation. 

The Foundation has already begun planning for the 2015 Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day that will take place in February. They are broadening their fundraising efforts throughout the year and recruiting more students to participate and thank the University’s donors during the event. 

“I hope next year the group can continue educating students and get them even more involved,” McGunegle said. “It’s a great day to get students together and thank our donors.”

After serving as an officer and member of the McMurry Student Foundation, and seeing firsthand how the funds donated to the University affect current students, McGunegle says giving back to McMurry is something she plans to do now that she is an alumna.