Thank-A-Giver (TAG) day educates students on alumni and philanthropic support

WISE TAG DAY

A tag here, a tag there: The Norwich campus will be sporting some interesting decorations on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

University officials aren’t breaking out spray paint cans to add artistic murals depicting Norwich history on campus buildings. Instead they will be celebrating the second annual “Thank-A-Giver” (TAG) Day.

On TAG day the university places mock price tags on buildings exemplifying how much donated money has gone, or will go, into construction or renovation, according to Mickey Walbridge, 19, a sophomore from Modesto, Calif.

The social media world (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) should also see a boost of hash tags directly related to Norwich as the university community will be sending out thank you messages to the donors using either #NULoyal, #nutagday or #tynudonors, explained Walbridge, a computer science major and member of the Norwich University Student Philanthropy Council (NUSPC).

“It’s a chance to give people a viewpoint for them to see. For the alumni or for people that want to come here, or even for us to brag about our campus,” said Walbridge. “I am proud to be a Norwich student.”

Each academic calendar year, the money taken in from tuition does not cover the university’s expenses and funds from donors and alumni and other sources are used to sustain the school, and that is why TAG day exists, according to Walbridge. TAG Day symbolizes the day in which the NU has used up the tuition money and how the gap is filled through alumni and philanthropic donations, explained Daniel DeLiberato, Assistant Class Giving Officer.

“So much of what we have is here because of the support from alumni, parents, and friends of the university,” said DeLiberato, “to be aware of the impact that private support has on our education”

To raise awareness, visual aids of various-sized price tags are used, “Tagging buildings, classrooms, spaces, and equipment around campus,” said DeLiberato, “that exist in part due to donations from alumni, parents, and friends of the university.”

It takes the work of many offices to tag a university. A large portion of the university staff that works behind closed doors or in campus offices will join forces to raise awareness and explain the roles they play in donations.

“We will have the entire Development, Alumni and Communications (DAC) Staff participating. Come question us on what we do and why it’s important,” DeLiberato said. “We are all a part of the Norwich family and it takes all of us, and a understanding of what we do to make it the best place it can be.”

Walbridge said raising awareness is the focus of tag day, to show appreciation to the donors believing in the University and the I Will Try philosophy, and how they help keep Norwich running.

“It’s not so much tagging something, but knowing that everything does cost and that there is a price tag to it, but we don’t get that price tag because of our givers,” explained Walbridge. “So we want to thank them for never having to see that price tag.”

Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to participate in many on campus activities to show how grateful they are to donors on TAG day along with the social media push, according to Walbridge.

DAC members will team up and man tables on the 2nd floor of Wise Campus Center, in the Atrium of the U Building, and in the entrance of Webb Hall, and give people the opportunity to record video messages, take pictures holding a thank-you sign, or create a unique thank-you sign to be used in pictures.

“We ask students so come get free cider and hot chocolate, giveaways and participate in events. We will be having a photo booth, and fun opportunities to win prizes and take pictures with the mascot,” DeLiberato said.

Walbridge said he hoped students, faculty and staff get a better idea of the generosity of donations and how contributions affect the future.

Walbridge added that, “we are the future alums and we want people to have this same experience or even a better one, for the school to continue another hundred years and say that I am proud that I go to the oldest private military college,” Walbridge said.

The event also also provides the chance to show school pride and understanding how student involvement affects the university as a whole, according to DeLiberato.

“Student donations actually affect a lot of things. It affects our national ranking when USA Today releases their top 100 colleges. A factor of that process is student donations,” said DeLiberato. “They (USA Today) view it as if students feel that their school is valuable to donate to, then it must be a great school to be a part of.”

The donors understand how important giving back to Norwich is so that current students have the opportunity to receive a great education,” said DeLiberato. “We hope that through Tag Day, current students will begin to understand the importance of giving.”

“To the students, I would say that as a student I am in debt currently. I have to take out loans to continue with my education, but it’s important to give back,” Walbridge explained.

Furthermore Walbridge said, “it may be hard, but we have to realize for other students to continue on and for us to have pride in our alma mater we do have to give back. It’s just the right thing to do.”

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