Each year members of the prestigious 1831 Society gather in the Cintas Center before a men’s basketball game to wine and dine before they head into the arena to clap and cheer.
The gathering is put together by the Annual Fund office as a way of saying thanks to those whose annual gifts of $1,000 or more make them the University’s top donors. While the wine and Pasta Pronto buffet were a nice thank you by themselves, the biggest thanks came from another special group invited to the event—the students who benefit from the Society’s donations, which go toward student financial aid.
As a different twist this year, students were given a button with the words “Because I came to Xavier I….” which they were asked to fill in. Alumni frequently tell Annual Fund director Leigh Ann Fibbe that they never realized when they were students how much Xavier would shape their future, so the buttons not only helped alumni reminisce about their time at Xavier, but helped the students start thinking about it now as well. And they did. Some of their answers:
• “Because I came to Xavier, I have grown in my leadership and have been open to new opportunities and perspectives.” —Ryan
• “Because I came to Xavier, I will work toward justice by serving as an advocate for society’s most vulnerable.” —Brianne
• “Because I came to Xavier, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with world changers! I’ve been able to welcome over 1,000 students to the home that is Xavier University.” —Bobby
“The purpose is to say thanks to this leadership group of donors,” Fibbe says. “They give over 80 percent of the Annual Fund dollars each year. The alumni love talking to the students. And the students love it. They come to me afterward and say they want to do it again next year.”