In just 36 hours, 1,164 members of the Stevens community rose to the One Stevens. One Goal. Day of Giving challenge, raising more than $319,680. Stevens, founded by the philanthropy and vision of its namesake family, continues to be defined by the support of its growing community.
During the 2022 Day of Giving this past April, alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff stepped up to support nearly every corner of Castle Point. More than 50 individuals played an even larger role and served as Champions, sharing their support of specific areas and encouraging others to make gifts as well.
Donors honored both new and traditional — and ever-important — giving priorities, including scholarships, athletics, sustainability initiatives, mental health programs, campus traditions, Stevens’ colleges and schools, Greek organizations and The Stevens Fund. Every gift toward these areas helps to ensure the accessibility and quality of the Stevens experience.
For Bruce Blondina ’73, championing Stevens is a personal matter. “Unbeknownst to me, my parents submitted my application to Stevens just to humor me,” he recalls. “They didn’t see any way to afford the tuition, but with Stevens’ [scholarship] help, we found a way.”
The Class of 1973 came forward with a strong response, raising more than $11,000 from 27 alumni donors, and inspiring one another to match fellow classmates’ giving. Today’s students motivate Frank Vastano ’73 to give back to his alma mater.
“The impact of Class of 1973 Scholarships is obvious when you meet the recipients,” he says. “Their families are so grateful to see their children attend a college like Stevens. They consistently tell us that the scholarship money they receive allows them to spend more time studying and less time working at side jobs. When you hear about their achievements and their ambitions, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride that your donations are going to the right individuals.”
“As younger graduates become volunteers, they are bringing a fresh perspective on the role of alumni giving,” notes Allison Kolb, director of annual giving. “Their passion for Stevens was front and center as they leveraged the day to raise support for funds including the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Scholarship, the Women’s Field Hockey program, the Dr. Hassiotis Memorial Scholarship (established recently in memory of the late Stevens professor Sophia Hassiotis), and more.”
“I was inspired to make a gift to One Stevens. One Goal. this year and to help coordinate giving opportunities as a way to give back to the community that gave me so much when I was a student,” says Luke Langner ’20 M.Eng. ’21, who championed the APO Scholarship. “The Stevens chapter of APO does so much great service work for the Stevens and Hoboken communities, and the members who volunteer their time do so on top of academics, jobs and other pressures that come with being a student. I hope that this scholarship will give the recipients the ability to continue to be of service to APO and the community, while enjoying greater financial flexibility.”
“Donating to a fund like this one makes it easy to connect your gift to a Stevens student who will be receiving the money, and to me, that’s a no-brainer,” Langner continues. “I’m happy to give a gift to someone who, in turn, is helping others, and I would encourage other alumni to do the same.”
Jose Angeles ’19 chose to champion the Lambda Upsilon Lambda Scholarship. “We established this fraternity scholarship three years ago with the goal to provide our future hermanos and other underrepresented students with the financial resources to complete their education,” he explains. “It is our way of paying forward the generosity we received from Stevens alumni, and to help Stevens become increasingly diverse and accessible for all.”
Angeles hopes that his support will encourage others to give back, especially during Day of Giving events. “One Stevens. One Goal. provides us with the opportunity to rally as a community,” he says.
Kristine Du ’12 enjoys knowing that by championing the Theta Phi Alpha Sorority Scholarship, she is supporting collegiate women who are positively impacting Stevens and the community. “The scholarships they receive help lift some of the financial burden,” she says. “In addition, I believe these scholarships support women in ways that build confidence and provide a sense of security.”
Like Angeles, she appreciates the added value of giving during One Stevens. One Goal. “Donating during this time allowed us to multiply the impact of our gifts,” she says.
One Stevens. One Goal. also coincided with Student Philanthropy Week, the highlight of which was “Get the Scoop on Philanthropy,” an on-campus event designed to show students the impact of giving to Stevens, and to invite them to participate by writing thank-you notes or even making a gift. More than 100 undergraduate and graduate students made their own Day of Giving contributions!
“Every gift to Stevens is an important contribution to the future of extraordinary students who are prepared to become the next generation of innovators,” Kolb says. “Every alumni gift is an important signal to those students that our community is invested in their success.”