Celebrating the investment

Tuition Freedom DayGerard Roberson generated hundreds of student signatures in the University Center.

Rachel Michelsen fastened dozens of signs in the snow across campus.

Roberson, Michelsen and other University of Michigan-Dearborn students canvassed campus Wednesday in an effort to say thanks. The reason for their gratitude was because Wednesday marked the university’s third Tuition Freedom Day celebration.

Tuition Freedom Day recognizes when students’ tuition dollars are used up, and the university’s operations depend on the gifts of donors, like alumni, faculty and staff. Those gifts support a number of programs across campus, like scholarships, research initiatives and resources to meet student needs and maintain campus growth. For students, these gifts often play a critical role in their academic success by providing the university with resources to maintain its successful reputation.

“Your tuition doesn’t cover the university being open year round,” said Roberson, a junior. “A lot of students don’t realize that. Just to know someone else is investing in your education, it really makes a difference.”

Roberson and Michelsen are members of the university’s Student Philanthropy Council (SPC), which first organized Tuition Freedom Day in April 2011.

This year, students canvassed UM-Dearborn’s campus with several signs that displayed statistics and facts about faculty, staff and alumni giving.

SPC members also encouraged students to sign thank-you cards for individual donors, an idea that resulted in hundreds of signed cards. They also helped generate plenty of signatures on a large banner that thanked those who participated in the faculty and staff giving campaign.

By creating awareness about the impact of giving back to UM-Dearborn, SPC members hope students will feel supported and encouraged to stay connected and involved with the university even after graduation.

“It’s great to be able to say thank you to all those people who donate,” said Michelsen, a sophomore. “It’s helping me out with my tuition, so I’m very thankful for that.”

Click here to watch a video about Tuition Freedom Day at UM-Dearborn.

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