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by Joe McDonald, Class of 2016

Giving Back: It’s what they do

28 Days… Just 4 weeks from today I will be walking across the stage to receive my diploma as part of the newest class of NC State Paper Science Engineers. As a graduate of Paper Science & Engineering, I will be taking on a new role. No longer the PSE student of the past 5 years, I will be joining the incredible community of NC State PSE Alumni.  During my time at State, it was the support of these Alumni that made my educational experience incredible. Alumni sponsored the scholarship that brought me to NC State. Alumni helped me find my first internship and mentored me as a new engineer. Alumni advise our faculty helping maintain the excellence of the PSE program. NC State PSE Alumni give and give and give in so many ways. It is the support of our alumni family that makes this program unique.

Paying it Forward: It’s what we do

While experienced alumni are the backbone of support for the program, in recent years they have begun collaborating with new graduates to start a giving trend that has quickly become the standard for our community. The “pay it forward” matching gift incentive has increased graduating class giving participation from 5% to 45% all the way to 75% in the past 3 years.

class of 2015 for news story

Class of 2015

It started in 2012 with one alumnus from class of 2005, volunteering to pay half a 2013 senior’s gift if the student pledge to join the Committee of 100, giving $1,000/year. The next year 10 experienced alumni volunteered to give matching gifts for graduating seniors. Those gifts motivated 6 members of the class of 2014 to join the Committee of 100. Then in 2015 the foundation received 15 individual matching gift pledges, 3 of which from the class of 2014!  2015 grads responded to every single one of those matching offers.  This not only made the Class of 2015 the winners of the class pledging contest in August, but they also added 16 individuals to the Committee of 100.  The most represented class on this distinguished committee is also the youngest class . . . . for now!

Giving Back: It’s what I will do

As a member of the graduating class of 2016, I am excited to say I too will be joining the Committee of 100 as a graduating senior. Thanks to the generous matching gift, of Bart Nicholson (class of 1981), I will be able to join this group of alumni committed to keeping the PSE program strong in the future.

Paying it Forward: It’s what we can do

Interested in helping foster the culture of giving back? Consider joining the matching gift program for one of our 32 new grads in 2016. These one-time matching gifts ($500 or less) help graduates get excited about giving back to paper science, when they realize the first dollars they give back will have twice the impact thanks to your match. It is these gifts that promote the “pay if forward” mentality. I hope that in five years (or less), most of the class of 2016 will join me to match gifts for the class of 2021!

For more information about this program or to offer your matching gift, contact Jennifer Piercy, Executive Director of the Pulp and Paper Foundation, or fill out our google form.

* Matching gifts are only collected after the new alumnus gives their first gift.  Thank you for your patience as some of these grads pledge in April, but do not graduate until December, and start giving in February or March almost a full year later.