Student Foundation introduces students to the world of philanthropy

    The news is filled with stories about the risks of investing. But if you were given $100,000 to invest in stock, what would you invest in? This is one of the many questions that members of the UCSD Student Foundation face.

    The Student Foundation, which is the first of it’s kind in the UC system, began in 1999 when UCSD graduates Marc and Patricia Brutton (1979 and 1983) donated this generous $100,000 bundle as seed money. The Student Foundation mirrors the UCSD Foundation, a group of 50 highly successful and prominent people who are chosen to manage the university’s endowment fund of over $200 million.

    The mission statement of the Student Foundation, according to its Web site, is “”to promote, facilitate and perpetuate the philanthropic spirit among the UCSD student community.”” Student trustees learn first-hand what it takes to run a foundation.

    Once nominated, trustees work under one of four committees: investment, development, nominations and senior gift campaign.

    The Investment Committee deals with, well, investments. What do you invest in that is not so risky that you will lose all of the money, but that will produce enough profit to create a surplus that can be used by the UCSDSF to create scholarships?

    Students on this committee meet once a week under advisers Art Brody and James Cambon, current members of the Student Foundation.

    The top three holdings of the UCSDSF are: Boeing (BA) +1.34 percent, Kraft Foods (KFT) +9.54 percent and Papa John’s Pizza (PZZA) +10.88 percent.

    The Development Committee also works to increase the Student Foundation’s endowment, but through fund-raising rather than investment. These students campaign for gifts from students, faculty, alumni and friends of UCSD.

    The Nominations Committee has the task of selecting trustees for the organization.

    “”The Student Foundation traditionally has a nominations drive to solicit new members every spring quarter,”” said Nominations Committee Chair David Goodwin. “”This year, we have introduced a nominations period in the fall quarter as well.””

    The Senior Gift Campaign Committee consists of trustees and members of various organizations around campus and is charged with the task of selecting the UCSD senior class gift each year. This gift is meant to make a positive change by teaching scholars the benefits of philanthropy.

    The spirit of philanthropy permeates the organization.

    “”All of what we are able to do is out of full support and encouragement from many generous UCSD alumni who believe in our goals and who believe in us,”” UCSDSF President Melissa Tsang said. “”As a trustee, I have grown more attached to my university and feel more encouraged to give back to UCSD after realizing all the opportunities that I have received as a student here.””

    The Student Foundation contributes to many pivotal UCSD events throughout the year, including donating to the Chancellor’s 5K Run/Walk, which raises money for scholarships; running Change for Change, a drive that collects spare change for charity; and the institution of many other gifts to help students around campus.

    Currently, the group is anticipating the creation of the Wall of Student Excellence and Philanthropy, a tribute to the achievements of UCSD and its organizations. The exhibit will be placed in the lobby of Price Center Theater and will include a multimedia display with several monitors located throughout the Price Center, in which students will be able to showcase personal and organization achievements, as well as upcoming events for others in the UCSD community to see.

    “”We feel that this will be a notable point in the evolution of the Price Center,”” Vice Chair of Communications Brandon Freeman said. “”It will allow anyone with valuable information to convey it at no charge to the rest of the student populace, and it will make the students at UCSD better aware of what goes on at the university and just what an amazing place UCSD really is.””

    Aside from the obvious benefits gained from the cultivation of a philanthropic spirit, members say that Student Foundation participants benefit in many ways. Interested students have the opportunity to have a trustee of the UCSD Foundation as a mentor.

    “”The UCSD Foundation trustees are some of the most prominent, successful and interesting people from UCSD and the San Diego area,”” Freeman said.

    In addition, Student Foundation members enjoy a relationship with the administration that most students lack.

    “”As a trustee, I have had the privilege of working with prominent figures at our university, such as Chancellor [Robert C.] Dynes, Vice Chancellor [James] Langley and our generous alumni,”” Tsang said.

    Ready to join? Although the fall nominations drive has closed, information about the spring drive will be available at

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