By Emily Glory Peters
Every year, the Scripps community comes together in generous support of Day of Giving, the College’s one-day fundraising campaign. That generosity did not fail in 2020, even as a global pandemic left the College reeling from unexpected financial losses that mounted in the millions. With help from our alumnae, families, and friends, Day of Giving funds last spring raised just shy of $400,000 to help Scripps fill this widening budget gap—and those gifts have been hard at work ever since.
Donor gifts impacting everything from campus grounds to student support
As Scripps has leaned into its third semester of remote learning, gifts to The Scripps Fund—the College’s main operational fund—have helped the campus prepare for the community’s return.
“Across campus, we’ve de-densified residence halls and installed automated doors for some buildings, added touchless faucets and toilet valves, upgraded air filters, employed UV and deionized air treatments in the HVAC system, and installed plexiglass between office desks, restroom sinks, and within Malott Commons,” explains Josh Reeder, executive director of facilities management and auxiliary operations. Malott, the campus’s central dining area, has also been reconfigured for grab-and-go meal packaging and socially distanced food prep—with new outdoor hand washing sinks added for enhanced hygiene.
“All of these changes will aid in social distancing, air purification and flow, and reduced surface contact,” says Reeder.
In addition, donor gifts have also served as the lifeblood for critical safety enhancements, like Scripps’ new COVID-19 testing facilities which will offer secure, rapid-result testing for on-campus students, faculty, and staff. Scripps has also increased its inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies for campus use—enough to have on hand for a full semester in case of high demand.
The impact of donor support from last year’s Day of Giving hasn’t been limited to on-campus changes. With so many families and students losing work due to the economic shutdown, the College had readied itself for a spike in requests for financial aid. Donor gifts to scholarships helped ensure that students experienced no disruption to their aid packages.
“We did have families who experienced a loss of a job or income, and where they had new eligibility for financial aid, we were able to meet it,” says Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero. “I’m very grateful for the donor gifts that have kept Scripps in a position to remain committed to providing additional aid for these students.”
Mental health and wellness programming for students, including counseling subsidies, rental assistance, and free telehealth services, has likewise expanded. As noted by Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Charlotte Johnson, that care is crucial for students who may be struggling.
“No student can succeed personally or academically if they’re unsure of whether they can keep a roof over their heads or where their next meal is coming from. [This support] underpins academic success by lifting significant emotional burdens from their shoulders,” she says.
The power of donor support in facing and overcoming crises
With COVID-19 infection spikes continuing to delay students’ return to campus, Scripps has grappled with the ensuing financial fallout, enacting necessary budget cuts since spring 2020. Yet, the College was able to avoid permanent layoffs, maintain the excellence of its signature curriculum, and funnel aid to students and programs that needed it most.
“Day of Giving is a shining example of what can happen when the broader Scripps family throws its full weight behind a shared priority,” says Associate Vice President for Philanthropy Enrique Gonzalez-Salgado. While the impact of these gifts manifests across campus, it serves as a welcome source of encouragement as the College looks ahead.
“Gifts from our donors this past year didn’t merely equip us to respond to the current crisis. They also helped us prepare for the future without compromising the caliber of the Scripps experience,” says Gonzalez-Salgado. “With their help, we’ll be ready to welcome our students back with open arms the moment restrictions lift.”
Please save the date of Wednesday, March 24, 2021, for your opportunity to make an impact for the next generation of women leaders. To make an early gift, please click here.