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Philanthropic students lead the way

Posted: Dec 20, 2012

The Student Philanthropy Council had students sign this giant "thank you" card for friends of the University who help fund their education.
Olivet Nazarene University is leading the way in student philanthropy. Starting this fall semester, the school saw a new addition to their student organizations, in the form of the Student Philanthropy Council (SPC).

While the council is still being finalized, their impact is already being seen and felt around campus. Earlier this semester, the council hosted a banner signing that allowed students to thank donors for their generous support. This banner has since been displayed at Homecoming and at many of the faculty and staff receptions held around campus.

Once the full council has been established, there will be five committees that will focus on: Student for Student scholarships, endowments, grants, recognition and outreach. The purpose of these committees? “To promote awareness and education about giving,” explains senior Jenny Schoenwetter.

ONU introduced the SPC due to a dream of Dr. Houston Thompson, chair of the Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice. He envisioned an opportunity for students to develop and teach their passion through philanthropy here on campus. His dream has been developing over several years, but is now becoming reality with support from Schoenwetter and Jean Martin '72, director of annual giving, including Student 4 Student (S4S). Working together, Dr. Thompson and Martin are giving direction to the SPC, which now includes an endowment, grant process and more.

Student philanthropy is a new concept for higher education institutions, and ONU is leading the way.

“This is a great opportunity to grow leadership in philanthropy, while learning from the vast knowledge of Dr. Thompson and Jean Martin,” Schoenwetter explains. “It is very exciting that Olivet is getting in on the ground floor of this.”

Much is anticipated from the newly form Student Philanthropy Council, and it will be exciting to watch as they grow the awareness and knowledge of philanthropy on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University.