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Special giving campaign under way to match chancellor’s gift

Special giving campaign under way to match chancellor’s gift

APRIL 27, 2020 — UT System Chancellor James Milliken has stepped up to help UTSA students in a big way. With support from the Chancellor’s Council and the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, Milliken has generously allocated $25,000 to the Student Emergency Fund at UTSA to provide grants to students facing a hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, President Taylor Eighmy is working with UTSA Annual Giving to issue the Chancellor’s Challenge, an online fundraising campaign to raise an additional $25,000 or more to support student emergency funds.

UTSA supporters who are able are asked to step up for students by Tuesday, May 5, to coincide with #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving designed to help meet the unprecedented need caused by the pandemic.

“We know many of our students are experiencing financial hardship right now, and these struggles could extend through the summer months,” said Eighmy. “Our goal with the Chancellor’s Challenge is to leverage his gift and the global Giving Tuesday Now effort by offering a direct, easy way for members of the Roadrunner community to help our students if they have the capacity to do so.”

“Within hours of UTSA announcing the move to online instruction, students started worrying about how they were going to get by,” said Gage Martin, a UTSA junior who is president of the Roadrunner Student Alumni Association, the group that coordinates the Student Emergency Fund. “Many have lost their jobs and are faced with difficult housing situations. UTSA students are having to balance supporting themselves while trying to remain focused on their academics. Applications for the Student Emergency Fund started arriving immediately, and they have not stopped.”

The applications tell a tale of students in need, with insights similar to these:

  • “My hours at work were cut. I don’t know how I will pay my bills.”
  • “I am already struggling because I have not been able to find a job, and now the coronavirus is making it worse.”
  • “I usually donate plasma two times a week to make ends meet, but now I can’t even do that.”
  • “My dad lost his job and now I am moving home, putting an additional strain on the family.”
  • “If I can’t pay for my prescriptions, I am not sure what will happen.”

There are a number of funds available where supporters can allocate donations: 

  • Student Tech Fund provides computers so that students can continue their classes online
  • Roadrunner Pantry is open on Main Campus and providing food and personal care items with more than 661 visits since mid-March.
  • Veteran and Military Affairs Emergency Fund provides for emergency needs for our students who are affiliated with the military.
  • Fostering Educational Success Center assists students who are particularly vulnerable to this crisis because of a history of foster care.
  • Student Emergency Fund provides grants to help students stay enrolled for needs that cannot be covered with other sources of support.

Gifts made on the Launch UTSA webpage now through May 5, 2020, will count toward the $25,000 challenge. Gifts of all amounts will count and make a difference. Sharing the campaign on social media also helps raise awareness.

Are a current student in need? Check out the Financial Assistance Resources for UTSA Students page.

“It is heartwarming to see how our alumni, our faculty, staff, and the San Antonio community are stepping up for our students,” Eighmy said. “I am issuing this challenge to keep the momentum going as we continue to help our students with significant needs. It would be wonderful to match the chancellor’s gift or do even more.”

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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