“But why should I give back to Concordia?”
These words typically come out of every recent grad's mouth during the first couple of years following graduation. It can be hard to fathom giving a gift to the college when you have loan payments and haven’t yet landed the dream job with the six-figure salary.
However, giving back to Concordia shouldn’t be intimidating or burdensome. In fact, it should be something that excites and inspires us. I choose to give back for three reasons: to keep Concordia strong, leave a lasting legacy, and to pay it forward.
I choose to give back for three reasons: to keep Concordia strong, leave a lasting legacy, and to pay it forward." – Matt Dymoke '14
Giving back to Concordia wasn’t something I had really thought about during my first few years on campus. But over time, I started to think about all of the luxuries I enjoyed as a college student – fully equipped facilities to receive my world-class education, phenomenal faculty and staff members guiding me on my way, the dozens of student organizations I had the chance to be involved with, and the abundance of scholarships that made it all possible. These amenities don’t just grow on trees – they are the result of thousands of alumni, parents, and friends of the college willing to give a little to get a lot. Most of the people donating to the college already have received their degree, but they see the value of a Concordia education and want to make sure this place continues to flourish.
In reality, my small gift doesn’t keep the lights on. But OUR small gifts collectively do. And every day I get to see the positive impact that Concordia has on my life and the lives of those around me. I get to be a part of a community who helps make college an affordable option for students. I get to help make sure Concordia stays strong, developing new programs and building upon current successes. I also know that for years to come, Concordia will continue to serve the students to the best ability it can. This makes giving worth it to me – knowing that my contribution means something.
I don’t want to pretend that I’m the only young alum giving back to this place. Last school year, nearly 150 grads from the last two graduating years chose to give a gift to the college. Most of those gifts were less than $25. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but together we were able to raise more than $2,000 and be a part of giving future Cobbers the experience of a lifetime. It takes a village, and as recent grads it’s imperative we join in and leave our legacy.
Giving back as a young alum doesn’t have to be daunting. Donating to Concordia shouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed or stressed. In fact, it should do the opposite. It should invigorate you to go out and influence the affairs of the world, becoming responsibly engaged and helping others to do the same. I give back to pay it forward, and I encourage you to do the same.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Matt Dymoke '14 is the assistant director of The Concordia Annual Fund.