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Giving liberates the soul of the giver

BY GUEST OPINION | MAY 01, 2014 5:00 AM

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One of the most treasured parts of college life is tradition. While we always greet traditions such as Homecoming and commencement with enthusiasm and joy, newer traditions can be among the most exciting and energizing. With this being its third year, I think we can safely say that Phil’s Day has been established as an Iowa tradition, and I’m more than delighted that we have instituted an annual celebration of philanthropy in our university life.

From our Phil’s Day campus tagging to our annual inspiring Phil’s Day special speaker to many other special events across campus, the University of Iowa celebrates and thanks those who have helped you, our students, make your UI experience remarkable.

Phil’s Day 2014 is coming up soon, today, and I encourage everyone to participate in this day of celebration, gratitude, and giving back and to reflect on the importance of philanthropy in your own lives.

As students, you benefit from philanthropy every day. When you learn in classrooms and libraries with the latest technology, much of it has been made possible through donations. When you conduct research with one of our world-renowned professors, that lab you’re working in and that named professorship your mentor holds have most likely been made possible by generous contributors. If you have a scholarship, a private donor probably funded it. And when you’re cheering the Hawkeyes, you’re in the midst of excitement made possible by generous contributors who are also fellow fans.

As students, you are an important part of UI philanthropy, and that’s what Phil’s Day is all about. So today, stop by the Pentacrest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sign a thank-you postcard to a donor. Attend this year’s “Life with Phil” talk at 1:30 p.m. in the IMU second-floor ballroom and hear the one-and-only Henry Tippie talk about how philanthropy has shaped his life. And don’t forget to proudly wear your “I Am Phil” sticker all day.

One of the secrets of philanthropy is that giving back in the service of others just feels good. As the great American poet Maya Angelou once said, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” I hope you take part in our now-established tradition of Phil’s Day, and you will no doubt give your own soul a lift.

Sally Mason
UI president


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