Students recognize the many families, alumni and community members who help make UCI one of the nation’s highest-ranked public research universities

May 30, 2017

All of the things students love about UCI – whether they be scholarships, state-of-the-art facilities or research opportunities – are due in part to the generosity and goodwill of the university’s incredible donor community.

During THXAZOT, UCI’s annual “Thank a Donor Day,” students are able to recognize these families, alumni and community members who help make UCI one of the nation’s highest-ranked public research universities. This year’s event was held on May 3 in the Viewpoint Gallery of UCI’s Student Center.

Graduate student Jennifer Holcombe stumbled upon THXAZOT while walking through the Student Center.

There, students wrote notes of gratitude, took selfies, shot videos and posted on social media. Some notes were inspired by students’ personal experiences with donor generosity through scholarships, while others were created by students who just learned about the importance and impact of private philanthropy at UCI.

One of the students at the event was graduate student Jennifer Holcombe. Her program, UCI’s master of fine arts in acting program, relies heavily on private support. “It is really important to express our gratitude as students,” she says. “The program I am in gives us the freedom to explore, play and pursue our artistic endeavors and really push the boundaries of creativity without feeling burdened financially. With state funds for the arts disappearing, we in the arts are so appreciative of the support that is given by individuals.”

Another student who participated in this year’s THXAZOT was Angela Vera, a fourth-year undergraduate student double majoring in social ecology and criminology, law and society. A first-generation student, she has received multiple scholarships. Like many students, she believes she may not have been able to pursue higher education without the support of donors.

Angela Vera, a first-generation student, felt compelled to show her gratitude.

“Their [donor] support has greatly impacted my time here at UCI as a transfer student,” Vera says. “Before, I was commuting through public transportation, so I was not able to take advantage of all the clubs and opportunities UCI has to offer. With their support, I was able to buy a used car, rebuild my computer, pay for textbooks and save for graduate school. Their support has been a major component to all of my achievements and success." 

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