One hundred paper airplanes ascend the grand staircase at Weill Hall. What do they mean? They mean that "Don't Let the Ford School Fly Solo," a $20,000 campaign organized by the school's 2010 Class Gift Committee, has been soaring—literally.
Each paper airplane bears the name of a student who made a pledge or a gift to support future Ford School students," explains Amanda Grazioli, the Ford School development and alumni relations officer who advises the eleven-member committee.
The Ford School bachelor's class sought to raise funding for undergraduate internships through the Undergraduate Annual Fund while the master's class planned to raise money for internships and fellowships through the Graduate Annual Fund. Within a few short weeks, the classes surpassed their ambitious goal. "This is the largest total sum raised to date from a class gift," says Grazioli of the campaign.
"Some students are able to secure paid internships," says Jennifer Niggemeier, director of Graduate Career Services. "But a significant percentage of our students pursue an unpaid internship that would be a fantastic learning opportunity. Because of the Annual Fund, the Ford School can make those experiences possible."
Last year, for example, the Ford School supported seven master's internships through the Graduate Annual Fund—four in Washington, DC, and others in New Orleans, South Africa, and India. Recipients worked to support children's rights, analyzed the impact of the Civil Society Index program, conducted research on the effectiveness of international aid programs, and more. The Undergraduate Annual Fund, which provides support for supplemental educational pursuits, will help sponsor internships undertaken by Ford School bachelor's candidates.
Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Spring 2010 State & Hill here.