On September 12 and 13, appreciative Redbirds composed personal messages to those who have supported their Illinois State journey at the third annual Thank-A-Donor Days.

Students were assisted by volunteer staff at the Bowling and Billiards Center in the writing and editing process. Upon completing their letter, they had a chance to get their photo taken so that it can be sent to the donor with their letter. Students also had the opportunity to learn about the history of donors at Illinois State and how they have helped people just like them.

As a bonus, students could enter a raffle to win a bunch of great Illinois State gear and get a snack (or two) to carry them through the rest of their school day.

Illinois State freshman Luke Madden received the Sol Shulman Scholarship and said it has been critical in helping him work towards achieving his dream to become a chemistry teacher.

“I hope that other students are able to take advantage of the scholarship, and I just wanted to say ‘thank you’,” he said.

International graduate student Hetal Dhirawani received the Matt Busey Endowed Scholarship and said it has already helped her immensely with paying for her various educational needs. She is looking forward to her message reaching those who have helped her during her journey as a Redbird.

“It feels really good to send them a message along with a picture so the donors will be able to connect more with me,” she said. “The helping community at Illinois State is outstanding.”

Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship Jamie Wood said Thank-A-Donor Days is important as it helps further build the relationship between our donors and the students who their generosity benefits.

“It’s so meaningful for our donors to receive thank you letters from their scholarship recipients,” she said. “Students put a lot of heart into their letters and donors look forward each year to receiving the messages.”

Scholarship Rising is one of three pillars of focus for Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. To learn more about scholarships at ISU, check out the Scholarships Rising page on our Redbirds Rising website.