Like good little alumni, Nick and I have been donating a modest sum to the Cornell Annual Fund every year since we graduated. As an undergrad, my dependence on financial aid was, at times, a pressing issue on my mind; and I remember seeing some of the grandiose and/or pointless things that the University spent its money on (Big Red Diversity Arches, anyone?), and vowing that if I ever donated money to the University, I would specify that it was only to go towards financial aid.
And so we have done. This year we got a darling thank you letter from the Fund, telling us about an undergraduate student who may-or-may-not have directly benefited from our donation:
This gift has an immediate impact on several students each year. One of those students, Vichet Ou '07, is an English major in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has been involved with the gymnastics team, the Cornell Dance Sport Club (a competitive ballroom/Latin dance [group]), and has served as the president and an instructor for the Cornell Ballroom Dance Club. Vichet is interested in journalism, creative writing, and dance. He plans to pursue a career in either teaching or aerospace engineering. Because of your gift, students like Vichet have the opportunity to learn and become productive members of society.
As Nick said, "It kind of makes you feel like you're sponsoring a kid in the third world, doesn't it?"