Thursday, March 9, 2017 was more than a fundraising event for our students—it was a celebration of U of S community spirit. Staff, faculty, alumni, friends and students all took part in raising a record amount during One Day for Students, the fourth annual campaign to help students in all colleges and schools. Collectively, $90,000 was raised in 24 hours, from over 450 donors.
This has been the Nassers’ fourth year matching donations to two special funds—the President’s Student Experience Fund and the Nasser Family Emergency Trust Fund. The year, however, the Nassers were so inspired by the high level of participation that they also decided to match the funds raised by each of the participating colleges: Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, and Arts and Science.
Mr. Nasser, one of Saskatoon’s leading property developers and philanthropists, said he is so passionate about supporting students through One Day for Students, because he was thankful to always have support for his own schooling. He said, “If I didn’t get help at many stages when I was a student, I wouldn’t have done as well as I have in my life.”
One Day for Students is not only significant for the Nassers, but for the many students who rely on the funds to help them pursue once-in-a-lifetime experiences outside of the classroom, or gain support during unexpected financial hardship.
During the keynote addresses at the kick-off for the event in Place Riel, students spoke of the importance of receiving scholarship and bursary support from the One Day-supported funds.
Kiara Calladine, president of the Northern Administration Students Association (NASA), spoke on behalf of their student-run volunteer group, which was supported by the President’s Student Experience Fund. NASA supports the unique needs of Northern students as they transition to post-secondary education through a number of important support services such as tutoring, laptop lending, and their annual Exploration Conference, which introduces high school students to the U of S experience first-hand. Calladine was thankful for the resources that make their programs possible. She said, “The President’s Student Experience Fund is the only way we can bring everyone together.”
Kehan Fu, president of the University of Saskatchewan’s Student Union (USSU), described the impact of the Emergency Student Trust Fund, which provides critical funding for students who are faced with unexpected financial burdens. He said, “A trust embodies a relationship of belief, faith, and the ability to do something greater.”
University Relations student ambassadors, a student group who advocate for leadership and philanthropy with students, alumni and staff, were also on-hand to reach out to students passing by, promoting the importance of the funds and contributing to One Day for Students.
Additionally, Alisha Esmail, owner of Road Coffee, handed out free coffee in the student hub in the hopes that students and staff would donate what they would normally spend on coffee. She noted, “I believe our generation wants to give back and make a difference, but I think sometimes we’re unsure of how. One Day for Students creates a platform for individuals to engage in philanthropy but also represents a bigger picture of how we should be living our lives.”