Student Alumni Ambassadors show the importance of giving back

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Sydnee Bradley, Jade Holland and Allison Caudill
Sydnee Bradley, senior from Louisville and SAA president, 2018 I Heart MSU Scholarship recipient Jade Holland, a junior from Owenton, and Allison Caudill (05), assistant director of alumni relations and development.

Each year, Morehead State University’s student advancement group, the Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA), facilitate I ❤ MSU Week. As part of a worldwide initiative organized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, SAA members host events over the course of the week to educate and engage students on the importance of philanthropy and higher education advancement. 

A group of 30 dedicated students, the ambassadors are known on campus as champions of all things MSU, from academic excellence to organizational leadership. SAA members frequently volunteer at alumni, presidential and sporting events. However, during I ❤ MSU Week, ambassadors focus on students. From tabling on campus to a vigorous social media campaign, SAA members organize and host events that aim to educate students on how private giving makes their experience at MSU possible.  

Some of the programs they have organized in the past include “Tag Day,” where students find signs around campus detailing philanthropic facts about the University, and “Get the Scoop on Philanthropy,” a chance for students to learn about how donors affect MSU while enjoying ice cream. A staple of SAA’s week of philanthropy education is their “1,000 Thanks” program. During this event, students write thank-you notes to donors, sometimes those who have supported the students directly. For example, nursing students are encouraged to write thank-you notes to donors who give to the nursing program.  

“It’s important that students understand the impact private gifts have on our campus,” said Allison Caudill (05), assistant director of alumni relations and development. “SAA members are constantly learning more about how and why alumni and friends give back. Part of their mission is to share this with their peers. We hope this education will encourage students to start taking steps to become the next group of philanthropic leaders.” 

Last year, the ambassadors decided to make even more of an impact during I ❤ MSU Week by establishing a scholarship. Students promoted the scholarship opportunity to any student who participated in a philanthropy education event. The inaugural recipient of the “I Heart MSU” Scholarship was Jade Holland, a sophomore studying biomedical sciences. The scholarship embodies the ambassadors’ goals by benefitting students and promoting MSU spirit and the importance of philanthropy through the application process.  

This year’s I ❤ MSU Week is March 4-8 and SAA will encourage their peers to donate to the scholarship. This fundraising initiative will help provide student scholarships that are partially funded by their peers. It will also include special recognition for graduating seniors who contribute at least $20.19.  

The Student Alumni Ambassadors are a nationally award-winning student organization through the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Serving as the official link between current students and MSU alumni, educating students on the impact of private giving is a primary goal. 

For more information about SAA, visit alumni.moreheadstate.edu/saa