On Thursday, May 4, 2023, as part of its college-wide Forever Green fundraising campaign, champions of The Evergreen State College gathered on Tacoma’s waterfront for the annual Art of Giving Gala and Auction where together they gave $395,000 to support the college’s scholarship fund.
This year’s event-themed “Reasons to Believe,” launched with a four-week virtual scholarship drive including a $10,000 dollar-for-dollar match donated by Evergreen parents Betsy and John Donnelly and concluded with the gala on May 4. Gifts to the Art of Giving benefit the Evergreen Scholarship Fund which provides renewable scholarships that increase in size as students near graduation. In addition, the funds raised will move Evergreen closer to its $55+ million-dollar campaign goal. To date, the five-year campaign which concludes on June 30, 2024, has raised more than $49 million dollars.
“Evergreen serves students who go on to lead, to serve, to solve problems, and to build more just communities,” said Dr. John Carmichael, President of The Evergreen State College, who addressed more than 200 gala goers. “We need these students regardless of their family or economic circumstances. We need them. And they need some help from us.”
Almost 35 percent of Evergreen students identify as low-income, and 22 percent are the first in their family to attend college. One of the goals of the Forever Green campaign is to double the amount of scholarship support provided to students. Onya Robertson a senior at Evergreen’s Tacoma campus shared, “This Evergreen education has allowed me to rebirth my dreams I thought I left behind many years ago. I learned with Evergreen that I get to decide the life I want, I get to show my children and everyone else watching, that they do not have to give up on their dreams. Because of Evergreen, I know the world is mine.”
“At the recent public launch of Evergreen’s inaugural college-wide $55 million-dollar fundraising campaign,” shared Dr. Dexter Gordon, Executive Vice President for Evergreen. “I noted that Evergreen has touched all our lives…students, alums, professors, community members…we all benefit from Evergreen's commitment to inclusive excellence. As I survey my years as an educator in higher ed, Evergreen continues to stand apart as the place of learning most alive to its responsibility to democracy as part of its larger public policy.”
From the stage, leading sponsor Washington State Employees Credit Union, spoke of the value of partnerships with organizations like Evergreen, “Washington State Employees Credit Union is a proud partner with The Evergreen State College in areas of financial education, student support, and scholarships.” said Suzanne Klenk, Financial Educator and Coach with Community Relations for WSECU. “It’s partnerships like this that allow us to do more….to be more. Through this partnership, we are not just a financial institution. We are a community partner and advocate for equity in education.”
The Evergreen State College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building an outstanding future for students. To learn how you can make a difference with a gift, visit the Forever Green webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.