In Just Over 24 Hours, College Raises More Than $50,000 for Gettysburg College Student Emergency Fund

Alumni take a look at sign-in sheets in the College Union Building at Homecoming (Photo Maddie Neiman / The Gettysburgian)

Alumni have answered an urgent plea for donations to the college’s emergency fund (File Photo Maddie Neiman / The Gettysburgian)

By Nicole DeJacimo, Investigations Editor

As of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 19, the college has raised $56,510 in an urgent push to fulfill over $50,000 in student requests over the past several weeks to the Gettysburg College Student Emergency Fund. The campaign, launched in an email to alumni Wednesday by Alumni Board of Director President Lauren Wise Bright ’90, aims to raise $75,000 to support student expenses associated with the coronavirus including travel and shipping costs.

 “I am thrilled, but not surprised,” Bright said Thursday morning. “The response is a reflection of who we are as a college and alumni community.” 

The fund, initiated by a $35,000 gift in 2018 by Peter ‘68 and Nancy Gaess, typically supports unexpected student expenses such as illness, the death of a family member, medical emergency, or the need for emergency housing, food or transportation, the college website says. Since early March, it has been inundated with requests from students facing unexpected costs. Students can apply for up to $1,000 per academic year. With increased demand, Bright hopes there will be an increased response from donors to help students continue their education at Gettysburg College.

This week, the college urged students to move out of their dorms as soon as possible, many students had to take unexpected road trips or flights. Some students who relied on a campus job are also facing a loss in wages that would be used for the cost of food or medications. Now, all courses are online, students need to have the proper technology and Wi-Fi access to effectively continue in their classes. 

Alumni young and old, faculty, and even former President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 are among the donors who have answered the college’s call for more funding.

Sarah Appedu ’18, who now works in Musselman Library, said she was motivated to donate out of a desire to pay it forward, and she has been encouraging fellow young alumni to do the same.

The crisis only further highlights existing inequality on campus and in society,” she said. “Hopefully we can come together to help those who need it.”

Any students who need extra funds for emergency travel, food, medical expenses, or other emergency needs, can apply through the College website confidentially through the college’s website.

Appedu said she is now calling on her peers and other alumni to donate to the Emergency Fund.

“Now is our opportunity to pay it forward and use the opportunities our Gettysburg education provided us to give back in a way with real, immediate impact.”

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Author: Nicole DeJacimo

Nicole DeJacimo ‘22 is the assistant news editor of The Gettysburgian and is a double major in Political Science and English. She is a Jersey Girl to the core but won't hesitate to call Gettysburg, home. During her free time, Nicole enjoys singing, reading, going to Waldo's and having movie nights with her friends. She plans on moving to D.C. after college to work as a political speech writer.

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