Last year, 2,286 donors took part in UMass Lowell’s first-ever Days of Giving, a 48-hour challenge that raised more than $288,000 to support everything from scholarships to sports teams.
Graduate student Diana Santana was one of those donors. On April 10 and 11, when UML launches its second annual Days of Giving, she’ll be among the first in line. She knows firsthand how support from a stranger can help change a student’s life.
Six years ago, Santana and her two young children were living in a shelter. “I wanted a better life,” she says. “To get it, I knew I needed to pursue higher education.”
With scholarship support, Santana pursued her studies with a vengeance, first at Middlesex Community College and then at UML. Last spring, she graduated summa cum laude and earned the Chancellor’s Medal for Diversity and Inclusion. Today, she’s pursuing her master’s degree in community social psychology and working as a graduate assistant at UML’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“People who didn’t know me gave money so that I could pursue my goals,” Santana says. “Now, I will give whatever I can because I know what that gift meant to me.”
The Days of Giving are open to all alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the university. The goal: rally 2,500 donors in the space of 48 hours and receive more than $40,000 in matching funds. “You can direct your gift to support a wide range of programs,” says Deidra Miles, associate director of annual giving. “Your gift of any size will help us reach our goal.”