Giving Tuesday at Wesleyan Supports Students

July 20, 2016

Ask Wesleyan students about their experiences and you will hear them get excited about everything from a capella music to a molecular biology class to a varsity sport.

The Wesleyan experience, multifaceted and empowering, depends on the consistent annual support of alumni, parents and friends who contribute to the Wesleyan Fund.

Gifts go directly to supporting the academic, co-curricular and social experience for students like Ali Jamali '17, Wesleyan's only Iranian undergraduate student, who studies both theater and math, and had never heard of Wesleyan until three years ago. Or Mary Chalino '15, a biology and neuroscience major whose experiences range from medical internships to the WesFest fashion runway.

"Our cause at the Wesleyan Fund is to help provide access to a world-class student experience," said Wesleyan Fund Director Chuck Fedolfi '90. "Annual gifts from the Wesleyan community provide the margin of excellence."

For the second year in a row, on Dec. 2, Wesleyan's annual fund will accept gifts as part of the worldwide Giving Tuesday movement.

In partnership with the 92nd St. Y in New York, Wesleyan (with thousands of organizations around the world) urges people to support their personal causes on Tuesday, Dec. 2. When the Wesleyan community reaches its goal of 1,000 gifts on Giving Tuesday, Catherine Klema P'13 and trustee David Resnick '81, P'13 will establish a scholarship for an incoming frosh in the class of 2019. All the gifts given to financial aid on December 2 will add to this scholarship and help fund four years of Wes for this new student.

"Giving Tuesday is a great reminder of the values a liberal arts education at Wesleyan instills in students and the responsibility to ensure others have this access," Resnick said. "What could be better than all of us giving together to help an incoming frosh go to Wesleyan?"

Giving Tuesday was designed as an antidote to the commercial spending spree that starts on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and continues through Cyber Monday. Last year, on Dec. 3, generous alumni, parents and friends contributed more than $54,000 to the Wesleyan Fund.

This is more than just an education," said Jamali. "It's an experience that gives you the tools for finding your deepest interests, your way to success and your definition of happiness, and then pursuing it after college."

For Jamali, who had never participated in theater, one of his best Wesleyan experiences so far has been taking an acting course. "When I look back at how much I learned and am still learning in the theater - which I was never, ever exposed to - it's really amazing that Wesleyan gave me that opportunity."

Mary Chalino is from Worcester, Mass., but her Wesleyan experience (through study abroad) has taken her as far as the Czech Republic. Summer internships in medicine have whetted her appetite to become a doctor. She's been a tutor in local elementary schools and served as a coxswain on the men's crew team. On campus, Chalino is a lab assistant, a contributing writer to the Argus, and a fashion model during WesFest. But her favorite Wes experience? Meeting people as a campus tour guide.

"It's always exciting to connect with prospective students by sharing my stories and experiences," she says.

Thank you for your support of Wesleyan's students on Giving Tuesday - Because a Wesleyan Education is Our Cause.