Dear Donors

RockwellStaff+Faculty2015spring-229When most people think of a new year, images of fireworks and champagne flutes on a chilly December night come to mind. For me, after years of work in university fundraising, the “new year” brings to mind a usually warm and occasionally sunny (it is the Northwest, after all) day with little festivity or attention given to it by anyone outside of higher education—the first day of June. It’s the kickoff of another year for me to say “please” and “thank you” for the gifts that sustain and further the mission of Gonzaga University. But to be honest; it’s so much more than that.

You are the reason people like me are truly blessed by our work. As Director of the Annual Campaign here at Gonzaga, I get the pleasure of getting to know you—the donors who so generously support the University. I also get to see your gifts at work every day.

On one hand, I get to know donors like you, whose gifts are products of reflection on your own Gonzaga stories—perhaps it was when someone believed in you, inspired you, helped your discernment of your life’s path, or gave you an opportunity you might not have otherwise had, and over time, your appreciation manifested into gifts of support to the University. Every gift has a story behind it. Some choose to share, others give quietly; just knowing that your gifts come from the special place in your heart where you hold Gonzaga makes every gift even more meaningful.

On the other hand, I get to know students who are transforming before our eyes into men and women for others. They are in the middle of it all. They worry about immediate things. They appreciate what they’ve been given, but might not completely grasp the whole picture just yet. They are discerning and learning how to reflect on the gifts and opportunities with which you have presented them. They are living the experience from which many donors draw inspiration for giving. Seeing young Zags grow and change as a result of your story is the greatest reward. Sharing these moments fills my heart with joy.

Connecting with you, the people whose annual gifts keep the wheels turning here gives me a lot to look forward to in each new year. Whether it is a “please,” a “thank you,” or simply a “hello,” know that each time I reach out to you, I do so with genuine gratitude for the impact you have. Alumni, family, friends, faculty and staff—there are so many different Gonzaga stories. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me throughout the year. I truly look forward to learning more about you and the reason you have been compelled to give.

Happy New Year!

Rockwell, Stephanie smaller
Stephanie Rockwell
Director of the Annual Campaign