Columbia Giving Day: Join in and Help Support Our Students!

October 23, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

Giving Day Logo

UPDATE: At Columbia U's first Giving Day, held yesterday, CUSSW raised $28,000+ in 24 hours!! More than 100 donors participated. All funds raised will go to student support.

October 24th is Columbia University's first Giving Day. All of the schools that make up the university are competing to see which one can raise the most funds, backed up to $400,000 in matching funds. All funds raised on Giving Day will go to student support.

In case you haven't thought about it lately, getting a masters in social work at a major university like Columbia is an expensive proposition. Students who enroll in the Columbia University School of Social Work make an enormous commitment, in the belief that what the School offers is well worth the price. The School's giving community owes it to them to do whatever we can to ease that burden.

We can hear you saying that competing with the Business School or the Law School to raise money seems a little unfair, given what the average social worker earns. But every contribution matters. As little as $10 can make a difference. Can you help us out?

To participate, you can either:

1) Go to (Just make sure you click on “School of Social Work” on the drop down list.)


2) Use the form on this page (scroll down to the bottom).

Let’s show those other schools that social work graduates care about their younger counterparts enough to support them.

And should you need some inspiration, we've asked three of our alumni who are also donors to the School to answer one simple question: Why do you give?

Here are their answers:

Susan NayowithSUSAN NAYOWITH ('84 MS, PhD): When I started at the School of Social Work, I had an idea I wanted to help others but little clue about what that would look like.The School opened my eyes to many different ways of "helping" and working with individuals and the community — from direct practice to management to policy to research — and to the different ways the fields of practice can support one another. Helping just one person could generate research ideas or point out the need for advocacy.

The faculty and administrators, then and now, are top notch. I loved having classes with experts in the field. To this day, I appreciate the opportunities the School provided to interact with faculty members, both formally and informally, about professional or personal issues.

The students in my class, the Class of 1984, were wonderful. Many of us developed long lasting friendships and professional networks I continue to count on to this day.

Likewise, many of the alumni I have met have been incredibly inspiring — lending a helping hand with my career development, sharing contact information, and continuing to support the School and its students. I remember my first alumni event, around graduation time. Students were tired from finishing up our practicum work and finals. Alumni held a celebratory reception. An, alum, Chuck Katze, introduced himself to me. He was charming, warm and open. He worked in community-based agencies, was active in the Alumni Association, and demonstrated an enormous enthusiasm about the School, his career and being a social worker. After that, I felt I wanted to stay connected with the School. I give because I want to share my resources and continue to interact with people like Chuck (who sadly passed away earlier this year). In that way I can continue to benefit from what the School has to offer.

Heather Mills-PavonisHEATHER MILLS-PEVONIS ('02 MS): The field of social work is incredibly demanding on the heart, mind, body, and spirit, our students need a strong foundation to be successful. That is where our giving comes in.
Alumni support is the equivalent of planting seeds for CUSSW students to grow and provide shelter for the world's most vulnerable populations.

CUSSW students help those who are damaged or hurt in some way to heal — they cast light where there was once darkness, and create positive, sustaining change.

This is why I give to CUSSW. What is your contribution?

Marc SilvermanMARC SILVERMAN ('03 MS): I give to CUSSW because it is important to ensure that future classes receive the same enriching experience I had. During my two years at Columbia University School of Social Work, I was able to participate in an array of activities and events that not only enhanced my development and growth as a social worker but also helped me establish a strong sense of community. My experience remains with me to this day and is parlayed into my current work. As a donor, I am able to continue my participation in the CUSSW community.

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