Sep. 26, 2012

Shaping Lives of Purpose: Gratitude for opportunities


A student writes a thank-you note at one of two recent Gratitude Gatherings, in which more than 220 student scholarship recipients thanked donors for their gifts. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11





Courtney Cataudella is a sophomore but already knows she wants to become a child advocate, earn her law degree and specialize in adoption law.

She's already saving for law school with the assistance of the Bridget Murphy '01 Memorial Endowed Scholarship, a full-tuition, renewable scholarship for a deserving student who demonstrates financial need, is in good academic standing and has an interest in community service and writing. Murphy's family created the scholarship in lasting memory of Bridget.

"I'm paying for college completely by myself, so I will be able to save up a lot of money," says Cataudella, an international relations major who is on the leadership team for Brothers and Sisters in Christ and is a news editor of The Lamron.

Cataudella and more than 220 student scholarship recipients were able to thank alumni, faculty, parents and other members of the Geneseo family for their generosity at two recent Gratitude Gatherings. Students write letters to the donor or donors of their scholarship, including information about themselves and the Geneseo experience, and have their photo taken. Suzy Boor, director of donor relations, who organizes the gatherings, incorporates the thank-you note, photo and student information into an acknowledgement booklet for donors.

Gifts to Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo is raising $22 million to strengthen the college's endowment and opportunities for students, including scholarships.

"It's a personal touch that provides our generous donors an opportunity to get to know the student they are helping," says Boor.

Being able to say thanks means a lot, says Cataudella.

"Their funding and contributions really change the lives of the students they seek to help," she says. "They take a lot of the stress and anxiety away. It helps me focus on what I'm here for, which is learning."