Volumes will be written about the sweeping, global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has certainly been swept up in the tide since the beginning of this year.
I think it’s helpful, and sometimes inspiring, to examine the singular and often “small” stories of resilience and selflessness we experience.
Colleagues in our University Affairs division have been helping administer UW Oshkosh Foundation Titans Rise campaign grants—a pool of donations, seeded by a $50,000 gift and challenge from an alumnus. The support is designed to help students overcome financial obstacles as they continue their educations and ride out the pandemic.
Staff members made sure one particular story didn’t escape my notice.
A student experiencing hardship had qualified for a $400 Titans Rise grant. This Titan cited the loss of her job, fear of eviction and other financial stress, noting her need to move back home and weather the storm.
Days later, good news came our way. Fortunately, the student found a new job. So, she sent an email letting us know her wish to give the Titans Rise grant back to the Foundation so another student in need would benefit.
Such a selfless decision.
This student’s gesture and expression of humanity inspires me. It demonstrates the qualities that I find best in Titans: the integrity, leadership and compassion to lift up others experiencing hardships so they feel stable, closer to whole, able to persevere and realize their full potential. By giving this grant back, this student helps another remain enrolled and on the path to graduation, strengthening-maybe even saving-a fellow Titan’s future.
I am so proud of our students. And I thank them for the kindness they show, particularly to each other. This story and example will stay with me as I help the UWO community face challenges today and to come.
This is how Titans Rise.
You’ll read other moving examples in this edition of Titan. However, in this one, “small” example, we see the kind of strength and character that will assuredly get
UWO, and our society, through this difficult chapter of human history.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Hail Titans!
Chancellor Andy Leavitt