Letter from the Director
The other day, I was invited to an event and as I was getting out of my truck, I accidentally dropped my sportscoat. I dusted it off and put it on and I didn’t think much about it. Later that evening a colleague I was sitting next to said I had some dust on my shoulder that looked like a footprint. I was a little embarrassed and quickly dusted it off with my hand.
This event happened to be the Division of Student Affairs Development Council dinner. There were many words of gratitude shared and many generous donors who enjoy giving to the Division where needed. Several were MSC donors. As I thought about the footprint on my shoulder, it dawned on me that the footprint on my shoulder was a sign. We constantly tell our students who we are and the university that Texas A&M was built on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We are standing on the shoulders of those who currently support us and who have supported us in the past, they are our foundation. As I thought about this a bit longer, I paused and thought that we all need to look and see if we have any footprints on our shoulders. We may not see them clearly but if we do, then we know it is time to give back. It may be time for others to start standing on our shoulders.
Do you have footprints on your shoulders? If so, then please let us know, there are many ways to give to the MSC, and all are appreciated. At times we see legends whose names show up on the Silver Taps or Muster lists…. some are well-known and others are quiet but give just as much. We are very gracious for the impact these individuals have made. Now is the time to prepare the next generation for supporting others on their shoulders. …Thank you for all you do.
Correlation between gratitude and happiness
For some time, it has been known that there is a direct correlation between showing gratitude and happiness. Several university studies have proven that showing gratitude raises a person’s level of happiness. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). Gratitude encompasses all these meanings. Gratitude is being thankful for what an individual receives either tangible or intangible. Gratitude can be shown in many ways, and too often we do not show it enough. We have so many generous former students who show their appreciation for what we do, in their time, talents, and treasures.
Many of you support us with your time…. We often receive support from the Aggie network by helping students find employment, through the use of the Aggie network to introduce students to people with similar goals, and by speaking to our organizations about many different topics. You provide advice, time to let students ask questions, encourage them to think outside the box and share obstacles that have been part of your journey so they can avoid them. We appreciate you taking time for our students.
We are supported by your talents… We receive services in kind. We receive expert advice from talented professionals in all work sectors. We receive items for use such as signs, flowers, meals, and use of space or professional services that would have to be purchased. If you are unable to help, you pass our student on to those who may be able to, and you never expect anything in return. All I have heard is that you want us to make you proud and to develop students into exemplary citizens in their communities. We appreciate your many talents.
Thirdly, we are supported by your treasures….. Each of our committees in the MSC relies on several sources of funding that may include: student fees, generated revenue (ticket sales or dues or trip participant costs), or gift funds that come from annual giving or endowments. Our students often ask people who engaged in their organizations in the past to support our current or future programs. We receive quite a bit of support and certainly, we ask a lot of you as well, our livelihood depends on it. We appreciate your treasures.
If you are inclined to give, please see the link on the back page of this newsletter and take a photo of the link, this will guide you through online giving. If you would prefer direct contact with our students who benefit from your support, let us know, there is great learning in asking others for support. If you are thinking of endowment-level gifts or planned giving contact me.
If someone had told me that part of my job would be raising funds, that might have scared me away. But I see this relationship with you as friend-raising and being able to connect with students who are beneficiaries of your generosity. When I think about you and what you have done and will do for us, my “Happy factor” increases.