Fourth annual Step Up for State raises over $195,000


Rebecca Harrell

Lopez arranges signs for students to write why they stepped up for Texas State on Oct. 3 at the LBJ Mall. Photo credit: Rebecca Harrell

Abby Gutierrez

Step Up for State raised over $195,000 to fund projects and scholarships, helping students further their studies and pursue their dreams at Texas State.

Step Up for State is an annual online giving event hosted on the Texas State website. Alumni and Texas State community members are encouraged to donate to the university’s newest projects, academic programs and scholarships.

The event took place Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 for a total of 1,899 minutes, in honor of the university’s founding year. According to the Texas State website, the event featured 42 projects that raised $196,945, as well as 2,845 gifts and/or donations.

Director of Annual Giving Andrew Henley was the overseer for Step Up for State, start to finish.

“We want the projects to hit their goals because the money raised goes directly toward programs and scholarships, which goes back to our students,” Henley said. “We know we’re successful when the projects feel like they raised the money needed to have a successful year.”

The Maroon and Gold Annual Fund raised the most money at $13,848, according to the Texas State website. In the past, the money donated to this reserve has gone to funding university scholarships for students, Bobcat Bounty, the veteran academic success program and various forms of student support.

“In the past, (the Maroon and Gold Annual Fund) tends to be a go-to for some people who just want to donate to something broader,” Henley said. “This is probably the best year we’ve had for the fund.”

Victoria Black is the project leader for the First Generation Proud Campaign, which raised $3,206.

“This is the second year we’ve participated and we have more than doubled the amount we were able to raise in the past,” Black said.

Black said the funds for the event will provide resources to help students feel more comfortable with the transition to a university. Additionally, funds will go toward helping support the First-Generation Proud student organization which started 2018.

“We want to be sure we leverage our resources and networks to be able to provide a really good experience for our students and celebrate their accomplishments,” Black said. “We’re happy our students are here and we’re proud of them for being here. We want them to feel like they’re supported.”

Students are encouraged to donate to the cause as well. Every year, Step Up for State holds “Penny Wars” at the LBJ Mall, where event coordinators put out jars labeled for each college within Texas State. Students donated coins and dollar bills in support of fellow Bobcats and their own colleges.

“It’s an opportunity to educate our students on philanthropy and what we’re doing within the university advancement,” Henley said. “A lot of time, the dollars we raise are benefiting them directly.”

Sidney Lopez, graduate assistant for Alumni Relations, said Step Up for State has seen a significant increase in this year’s “Penny Wars” in comparison to the 2018 event.

“One of the main goals is to promote the sense of giving to the Texas State community,” Lopez said. “I think that’s a big part of why it is important to give back: it fosters a continued sense of pride for the university.”

Philosophy professor Vincent Luizzi is head of the Annual Lecture and Dialogue on Ethics, which raised $2,885. This is the first year the project has been advertised with Step Up for State.

Luizzi hopes to use the funds to create a permanent endowment for hosting a prominent person in ethics every year. Additionally, the money will go toward addressing ethical issues, facilitating discussion and delivering a lecture to the Texas State community.

“(The fundraiser) will help to raise people’s ethical awareness, promote discussion and important ethical issues of our time,” Luizzi said. “As you raise awareness and promote discussion, you lay the groundwork for better conduct for everyone.”

Henley said he and his team are hopeful for the upcoming year and are already looking at what more can be done for Step Up for State 2020.

“We always want to do bigger and better,” Henley said. “We want to make sure we are learning from the things we do and fine-tuning for the next year.”

To view more information about the event’s projects and final numbers, visit the Step Up for State webpage on the Texas State website.


If you liked this story, consider supporting student media through a donation or by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

Did you like this story? Share it on Flipboard

Flipboard share
Viewed 151 times, 1 visits today