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We Heart Messiah: Students recognize donor generosity

Generous donors provide every Messiah student with scholarship aid to help reduce the cost of their Christian college experience. Most students know countless financial gifts are given to the College by alumni, parents, community members and long-time friends of the College. Rarely, however, do students gather to publicly thank the many people that enable an affordable Messiah College education.

During the week before finals, Eyas, the student alumni council, and the Office of Annual Giving hosted “We Heart Messiah,” a campus-wide event to give thanks to the generous supporters of the College and its students. The three-day event kicked-off with a block party April 30 at the Larsen Student Union.  Students ate cotton candy, popcorn and delicious cupcakes from the Lancaster Cupcake Truck, a company owned by Jeff,’08, and Emily (Barcklow), ’08, Mitchell. A photo booth gave students the chance to be photographed holding a sign with a reason why they love Messiah College.

On Wednesday, students stamped their handprint on a large “We Heart Messiah” banner. Those who left their prints received a “We Heart Messiah” t-shirt and learned more about the generous individuals and families who also leave their mark at Messiah College through scholarships and student aid. This educational time allowed students to reflect on the importance of donor dollars to students and celebrate donors’ generosity.

“Messiah instills a lasting impact in its graduates, and I am excited to contribute to that trend, shared Nick Hemming, ’13, after the “We Heart Messiah” event. “Ten, 20,  30 years down the road, I want to remember the four years that shaped the remaining decades of my life. Our donors seem to feel the same way. For me personally, donations mean the difference between years of debt and the ability to quickly begin the next stage of my life.”

The event concluded May 2 with a Falcon Feast in Lottie Nelson Dining Hall. Students savored a Thanksgiving-themed meal to participate in the spirit of gratitude developed over the previous two days. Many blue and white Messiah-style desserts made the dinner an attractive event for students. After dinner, students were encouraged to write personalized thank you cards to supporters of Messiah College.

“We Heart Messiah” demonstrated that Messiah students  genuinely appreciate the support from donors of scholarship and student aid. The gifts given by individuals and families to the Messiah Annual Fund do not go unnoticed by students at Messiah College. Like College supporters, students at Messiah wish to say, “We Heart Messiah too!”

Story by Ethan Eshbach ’14.

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