Stevens Day of Giving 2023: A Record-Breaking Success
The Stevens community united to make Stevens Day of Giving 2023 the most successful yet, with 1,103 donors contributing a total of $628,500. Over a span of 1,870 minutes kicking off on Founder’s Day, Feb. 15, alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends made gifts to support vital giving priorities and embraced our founding family’s philanthropic tradition.
The Stevens community supported students and initiatives that will have lasting impact – scholarships, academic programs, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, campus sustainability, athletics, entrepreneurship and more. Dozens of alumni and friends stepped up to serve as advocates, offering challenge and matching gifts and encouraging their peers to donate as well.
Through the generosity of the community, the university surpassed its goal of 1,062 donors, one for every first-year student in the Class of 2026. Donors rallied together to make a collective impact including 670 alumni, 116 students, 106 faculty and staff members and 42 parents. This Day of Giving, 56 alumni made their first gift to Stevens.
“Stevens Day of Giving shows the power of our impact when we come together to help students,” says Allison Kolb, director of annual giving. “Every gift is an investment in students and helps to ensure the quality and excellence of the Stevens experience.”
With that perspective in mind, Day of Giving advocates championed scholarships and initiatives meaningful to them.
Maria Ramirez-González ’89 and Hermes González-Bello ’89 M.S. ’95, who met in the Stevens Technical Enrichment Program (STEP) and later married, issued a match challenge to encourage support for the STEP Endowed Scholarship.
STEP provides services and programs to support students’ success and helps them achieve their academic, personal and career goals. The program offers academic support, advising and counseling, professional development and lifelong ties to a STEP family.
“My Stevens journey started with the STEP program,” Ramirez-González says. “STEP gave us so many opportunities and a true sense of belonging. The STEP scholarship has meaningful impact because not all talented students can afford tuition. We want to inspire their success and continue the STEP legacy.”
In celebration of their upcoming 50th Reunion, members of the Class of 1973 rallied support for their endowed scholarship. Six members of the class offered matches, the first of which was from Trustee Emeritus Rick R. Roscitt ’73.
Roscitt said he was inspired by the dedicated commitment and work of his class leaders, Frank L. Vastano ’73, Bruce Blondina ’73, Tony M. Callendrello ’73 M.Eng. ’80 and Joe W. Mitro ’73 M.Eng. ’80, to garner support for the scholarship.
“I could not be more proud and more pleased that the Class of 1973 has come together to raise nearly $750,000 so far toward our goal of $1,000,000 for student aid,” Roscitt says. “I was inspired to offer the match challenge as I witnessed our class leaders work tirelessly on the Class of 1973 Endowed Scholarship Fund to make it a success.”
“The cost of higher education continues to escalate, and without financial aid for our current and future students, and their families, many highly qualified students might not be able to attend Stevens,” Roscitt says. “Having tomorrow's workforce qualified in all areas from a solid STEM education is an absolute imperative for the U.S. to be competitive. We must support our students as they pursue a world class STEM education at Stevens.”
Many recent alumni made gifts to the Student Mental Health Initiatives Fund, making it the most supported fund of the day. Young alumni celebrated the conclusion of Day of Giving at a #DucksGiveBack happy hour event, rallying additional support for Stevens causes important to them.
Seth Kirschner ’18, was among the young alumni celebrating and advocating on Day of Giving. Kirschner serves as a member of the School of Business’ Young Alumni Council and co-chair of the Edwin A. Stevens Society. In encouraging recent alumni to give back, Kirschner points to the importance of the “network effect.”
“I encourage one or two people to donate and then they encourage more people and it has a network effect,” Kirschner says. “I try to help young alumni understand their support is valuable. A gift, no matter the size, increases our alumni contribution percentage ratio, which is an important factor in how the university is rated. Ultimately, as Stevens goes up in ranking over time, it makes our degrees more valuable.”
Kirschner remains grateful that his experience at Stevens and career support from alumni helped him to launch a successful career in cybersecurity. “In response, supporting the next generation of students has always been a big part of my values,” he says. “I’m continuing the legacy of what others have done for me.”
Alumnae from classes spanning six decades advocated for support of the Lore-El Center for Women’s Leadership, including Trustee Lisa M. Mascolo ’82, Young Alumni Trustee Emily Kovelesky ’22 and Dawn Ortell ’77.
Liliana Delman, director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said contributions from alumni, as well as their service as mentors and speakers, makes a profound impact in sustaining the center’s vibrant leadership development programming.
“Alumni support allows Lore-El to grow and maintain its engagement with Stevens’ dynamic campus community,” Delman says. “Donor contributions further the center’s interpersonal, social, and professional development initiatives and allow us to continue connecting those who share a common passion for women’s empowerment and equity in STEM.”
“Our continued alumni engagement is a testament to the opportunity they have to be representative models for the kinds of leadership and civic-mindedness that Lore-El inspires students to embody both on Stevens’ campus and beyond,” she says.
Stevens also hosted a virtual Founder’s Day Reunion Forum for alumni celebrating milestone reunions this year. The forum included a presentation on the history of the university and opportunities for alumni to reconnect.
“Stevens was built on a foundation of philanthropy,” Kolb says. “The generosity of the Stevens community continues to carry this legacy forward and supports our exceptional students as they elevate technology and innovation to create a better future for humanity.”