November 3, 2006

UA Students Show School S.P.I.R.I.T. by Donating to Student Scholarships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama students are being asked to show their school spirit by making small contributions to a UA scholarship fund for first generation college students over the next month.

The SGA S.P.I.R.I.T. campaign, run by some 25 student leaders, asks each UA student to donate $5 or less to the University. Last year’s campaign raised $17,000, providing scholarships for 10 students who were the first in their families to attend college.

“The S.P.I.R.I.T. campaign is an opportunity for students to support their University and a way to help fellow students,” said Justice Smyth, president of the Student Government Association at UA. “One in five students on campus is the first in their family to attend college. It is important that the SGA partner with the University in this initiative to help students’ dreams of a college education come true.”

The campaign name – S.P.I.R.I.T. – was chosen by student organizers and stands for “Students Playing Important Roles in Tradition.” Participation in the campaign, which will run from Nov. 6 until Dec. 1, is much more important than the dollar amount raised, UA officials say.

Graham Smith, coordinator of the campaign, said the University recognizes that students’ funds are limited. “Many students make sacrifices to pay tuition and living expenses, and we don’t want to add to that financial burden. It’s participation that counts. We’re asking for $5 or less – the cost of a cup of coffee or a couple of soft drinks – from each student,” Smith said.

Student support will also help the University maintain and build on its national rankings. Donor participation is among a number of criteria used to determine national rankings.

“For this purpose, we are judged on IF we give rather than HOW MUCH we give to support our institution,” Smith said. “If our national rankings go up, we can recruit better professors and students. The prestige of an Alabama degree will increase, and today’s students will benefit long after graduation.”

Contributing to the S.P.I.R.I.T. campaign is easy for students. They may give with a swipe of their ACTion cards beginning Nov. 6 when leaving football games and at locations in Ferguson Center, Gorgas Library and the Student Recreation Center. Cash and checks will also be accepted at those locations. Online giving is available at . Checks may be mailed to the S.P.I.R.I.T. Campaign, Box 870122, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

For more information, contact Graham Smith at 205/348-5535 or

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