Creating Opportunity initiative an investment in students’ future

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Creating opportunity fund Verity Watt

ACU will contribute $1 million to a new Creating Opportunity Fund, with a further dollar-for-dollar pledge to match all donations from alumni, staff and friends.

For Verity Watt, receiving a Sisters of Mercy Scholarship, worth $4000, was “like someone else investing in your future”.

“The scholarship has alleviated a lot of potential financial stress and given me a safety net,” said Verity who is studying a Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine at Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) Ballarat Campus.

“It also represented the great support you have in a small close-knit community – to have someone else support you like that is a pretty good feeling. It’s like someone else is investing in your future.”

ACU will contribute an initial $1 million to a new Creating Opportunity Fund, with a further dollar-for-dollar pledge to match all donations from alumni, staff and friends.

The initiative highlights the establishment of an annual appeal to the University’s alumni community and the creation of a staff giving program.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said the University had a long tradition of giving back to the community, and its fundraising programs have stood out because they focus on helping others rather than building capital or wealth.

“Building on this, we have a new philanthropy plan that will harness the collective generosity of our staff, students, alumni, donors and stakeholders to support programs that make a real impact,” Professor Craven said.

“As ACU continues to flourish, with student enrolment numbers growing from 16,000 to 32,000 over the past five years, we recognise that many of our students need some extra assistance. We can do more to empower them to succeed in their studies.

“Under our philanthropy plan we aim to double the number of equity scholarships available to students in need over the next five years.”

Professor Craven said the University was committed to match all donations from alumni, staff and friends dollar for dollar, doubling the impact of the resources to make an even more meaningful difference to those who need an extra hand.

“We want to help our students reach their greatest potential, without being hampered by circumstances outside of their control and we know that our scholarships make a real difference in students’ lives.”

Professor Craven said the new philanthropy plan would build on previous fundraising initiatives and focus on fostering a culture of giving across the entire ACU community.

“We know our supporters are generous and will want to see the next generation of ACU students succeed in the face of increasing costs of living and study,” Professor Craven said.

“Involvement in the ACU annual appeal will help young people to explore their talents, gifts and passions and to fulfil their potential.”

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