Dear Friends,

Joan-cmykIn this issue of the Shillelagh, we spotlight a tradition that continues to bring Missouri S&T students and their scholarship donors together the “old-school” way: with pen, paper and a postmark.

Every fall and spring during the first week of classes, hundreds of students come together to thank the alumni and friends whose scholarship support provides the gift of a Missouri S&T education.

In between settling into new class schedules and routines, these students are invited to come by Hasselmann Alumni House to write thank-you notes to their scholarship donors and pose for photos to accompany the letters. It’s a big operation requiring a stockpile of pens — and a serious supply of lemonade and cookies.

The best part of all is our participation rate: 100 percent! To be honest, we never expected a response like that. Because, as we all know, students are preoccupied with other priorities. But we underestimated them. Last fall, a record 2,000 thank-you notes made their way across Miner Nation. When I think about all those letters postmarked Rolla, my heart warms with pride.

This issue of the Shillelagh also highlights our new Rolla Rising Scholarships and the crucial advantages they provide:

  • the flexibility to recruit top students regardless of major, class year or hometown
  • the funding to compete with peer institutions that offer larger financial aid packages.

Missouri S&T has launched a campaign to raise $1 million in support of these scholarships, and we are grateful to the donors who have contributed $500,000 in matching funding. Thanks to their generosity, every gift of $25,000 or more will be matched dollar for dollar.

You’ll also read about the 10 distinguished Miners who will be honored as our 2016 Alumni of Influence, the busy spring semester under way for our student design teams, and an April tradition on campus — Philanthropy Month.

I hope you’ll join our campus community in celebrating the 30 days of Philanthropy Month. There’s something for everyone, from the Battle of the Brains to the Woman of the Year. But most of all, I hope you know that the power of your giving lights our path forward 365 days a year.

With gratitude,

Joan Nesbitt

Vice Chancellor for

University Advancement