University of St. Thomas Magazine COVID-19 Special Edition

tommie network



By Joanne Pauley

As our world faces a crisis of unimaginable proportions, our students are navigating immediate and pressing financial needs, and Tommies are rallying to support students. “I am so appreciative of our alumni, parents and donors who have come forward to support our students during this challenging time,” said Karen Lange, vice president of Student Affairs. “I have been amazed at how quickly they responded to our call on behalf of our students.” The university has augmented existing fundraising priorities with a coordinated response to support COVID-19 priorities by establishing three funds: Hardship Scholarships, Student Emergency Fund and Student Excellence Fund. By contributing to these funds, you can help students continue their studies unencumbered by the financial challenges of the COVID-19 crisis so they can solve the problems of a post-pandemic world. Please see the envelope inserted into this issue. Hardship Scholarships Scholarships are always our No. 1 priority at St. Thomas; that support is critically important to helping students access and afford a St. Thomas education. Hardship scholarships specifically are a form of financial aid that is awarded to current students who are having trouble with paying tuition and fees, usually due to a change in financial circumstances. These scholarships are awarded outside the regular financial aid and scholarships process. St. Thomas had a history of awarding Hardship Scholarships before the pandemic and there has been a significant increase in that need due to changing financial circumstances because of COVID-19. The Student Emergency Fund The Student Emergency Fund was created in the 1990s to assist students who are unable to meet

immediate, essential expenses due to a temporary financial hardship, and funding awarded under this program does not have to be repaid. Students apply for emergency funds when other resources have been exhausted or are unavailable in a timely manner. Emergency funding is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid and is not intended to pay for tuition and fees. Rather, funds help students pay for rent, medical expenses, utilities, food and other essential expenses. Student Excellence Fund The Student Excellence fund is an unrestricted fund directed by President Julie Sullivan. It helps ensure we always are providing the highest quality of academic and cocurricular experience possible for our students, whether classes and services offered are online or in-person. Gifts to the Student Excellence Fund can be used immediately where they are needed most. In the pandemic environment things change rapidly; unrestricted gifts allow the university to adapt quickly and nimbly.

SUPPORTING STUDENTS THROUGH CRISIS Please consider making a financial

contribution using the inserted envelope. You can make a difference for students who have lost jobs, homes and hope. Your gift – at any level – will help students continue to experience the transformative St. Thomas education we all know and love. Together we can make a great impact.

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