Symbolic donation helps St. Bonaventure University freshmen learn the value of lending a helping hand


ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., September 7, 2010 — Have you ever heard someone complain that you can’t get anything for a dollar anymore?


Two St. Bonaventure University freshmen will tell you that’s not so. They turned their $1 investments into $250 scholarships. Not bad, considering the original dollar bills didn’t even come out of their own pockets.

Anthony LittleKristin Cornish
Scholarship winners Anthony Little & Kristen Cornish

When freshmen arrived on campus Sept. 2 for the start of Welcome Days, a program designed to acclimate them to university life prior to the start of their first semester, each received a packet of helpful information. Inside was a surprise – an envelope containing a crisp new $1 bill.


That afternoon at their residence hall floor meetings, the freshmen were asked to turn right around and give the money back. Later, that pool of money was split into two $250 scholarships and awarded to two freshmen in a random drawing.


The students’ symbolic donation had a deeper meaning than rewarding two lucky classmates.


“We wanted to show students the direct impact their giving can have on the university and the life of a student,” said Alan Riddle, assistant director of the university’s Bonaventure Fund. “We wanted them to see that while $1 on its own may not seem like much, even that small a contribution has real power when multiplied many times over.”


Freshman Anthony Little of Erie, Pa., one of the scholarship winners, said the message got through. “It’s amazing to see that something as small as a dollar, donated by a lot of caring people, can amount to something of this magnitude,” said Little, who split the scholarship money with Kristen Cornish of Hammondsport, N.Y.


The Bonaventure Fund is the primary vehicle used by St. Bonaventure alumni to support the university. It provides aid to students, development opportunities for faculty, and supports many other critical aspects of annual university operations.


It’s also one of the reasons the average financial aid and scholarship package for an incoming St. Bonaventure freshman is more than $20,000, and that the university consistently achieves a high ranking as a “best value” school. St. Bonaventure earned the No. 9 ranking on U.S.News & World Report’s 2011 list of best college values in the North.


“When these freshmen graduate in four years, they’ll take away many fond memories of their St. Bonaventure experience. We think this little demonstration of symbolic giving helps them see that, for many students, the experience would not have been possible without the generous support of many others who share the same fondness for their university,” said Riddle.


“St. Bonaventure is a Franciscan university known for its spirit of service and generosity. More than 80 percent of our students are involved in volunteer service, and many commit to a lifetime of helping others. We are confident that this freshman class, the class of 2014, will carry on that proud Bonaventure tradition,” he said.


About the University: St. Bonaventure is ranked 29th in U.S.News & World Report’s 2011 ranking of Northern universities that offer master’s degrees. It has a history of accomplishment and service that extends back more than 150 years. At the heart of St. Bonaventure is the Franciscan affirmation of the dignity and worth of the entire created order. Fundamental to this vision is an awareness that it is within relationships and community that individuals discover and develop their potential.

Share this 
story Subscribe to these stories