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Faces of Ben

Donors to the University are not the only ones who are Ben.The many Benedictine students who benefit from donor support are Ben, too. Students also serve their role as Ben by raising funds for a class gift.

 Meet the faces of the Class of 2012 Gift Campaign.  Each student worked to raise funds to support the Neff Welcome Center. Click on the photos below to learn more about each student!

 Faces_Nick Nick McCord
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Finance

Why did you decide to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I decided to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee because I felt it would be a great opportunity to give back to an institution that has done so much for me.

What type of activities/organizations are you involved with on campus?
Aside from the gift committee, I am a part of Benedictine's Northern Athletics Conference championship track and field team and also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

What is your favorite part of being on the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
My favorite part of being on the committee was being able to present the check to President Carroll at graduation.

What are you looking forward to most about graduating?
I am looking forward to the beginning of my life after graduation, getting a job and one day starting a family.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am currently looking for a job. I am also considering going back to school to further my education.

What is your favorite Benedictine memory?
My favorite Benedictine memory was celebrating with my teammates after winning the NAC championship.

Why do you think it's important for students and alumni to give back to the Benedictine community?
It's important to give back because it helps future students of Benedictine. Past students have helped to get the school where it's at, and I feel that it's part of our responsibility to make it even better.

What would you like to say to the many donors who have made a Benedictine education possible for you and countless other students?
I would say, "Thank you for everything. Without your help, most of the wonderful things this University has done for us would not have been possible."

 Faces_Alana Alana Smith
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Accounting

Why did you decide to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I think that it is very important to leave a legacy as a member of the Class of 2012. The tile that we purchased in the courtyard of the new Neff Welcome Center will be something that we, as alumni, can come back and reflect upon. I also think this is the first step toward forming a giving relationship with the University. I have received so much from Benedictine and know how important it is to remember that throughout my life and to give back.

What type of activities/organizations are you involved with on campus?
I am a member of the Benedictine Business Club, I participated in Model United Nations and I worked in the Benedictine Library and for Sodexo Food Services.

What is your favorite part of being on the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I really enjoyed our meetings and planning different ways that we could raise money. Jill Poskin, director of Annual Fund Programs, really gave us great advice and the means to get donations.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am attending graduate school at Benedictine to earn a Master of Business Administration.

Why do you think it’s important for students and alumni to give back to the Benedictine community?
I think that we get so much more than an education at Benedictine. The environment at the University is so welcoming and the faculty and staff genuinely want you to succeed in school and out in the real world. I have a great network of people who have helped me on my journey through college, and they were all made available by Benedictine. This University has given us so much and I think it is very important that we give back as well.

What would you like to say to the many donors who have made a Benedictine education possible for you and countless other students?
Thank you so much to all the donors who have given back to the University. Your donations made my education possible and I am so appreciative.

 Faces_Dan Daniel Zust
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Economics

Why did you decide to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I wanted to give back to the school that has given me so much, to be the leader of my class and to show my involvement to my senior class.

What type of activities/organizations are you involved with on campus?
I was a member of the Benedictine University baseball team and served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

What is your favorite part of being on the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
My favorite part would be being looked up to as a leader of the Class of 2012.

What are you looking forward to most about graduating?
I am looking forward to starting my career with a new job related to my degree.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to get a job in Chicago and find an apartment in or right outside the city.

What is your favorite Benedictine memory?
I think my most memorable time at Benedictine would be my senior season with the Benedictine baseball team.

Why do you think it’s important for students & alumni to give back to the Benedictine community?
The school has given so much to us with our education, and to give back to the school shows how we are thankful for our education.

What would you like to say to the many donors that have made a Benedictine education possible for you and countless other students?
Thank you for the donations and the education I have received from Benedictine University. My education will help me thrive throughout my career. Not only at an educational level, but the leadership skills and character I have built through Benedictine will put me at an advantage when compared to other graduates.

 Faces_Brittany Brittany Wolski
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Special Education major, Psychology minor

Why did you decide to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
One of the best ways to give back is by getting involved. By joining the committee, I knew I would be able to meet new people and hopefully raise some money for something much larger than the individual. I also wanted to leave my mark on Benedictine as greatly as I could. It is pretty neat that we exceeded our goal by well over 1,000.

What type of activities/organizations are you involved with on campus?
Throughout the years, I have jumped around with what I have done. I like to keep myself busy by trying new things. I played softball, was part of Best Buddies and Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), president of Student Athletic Advisory Committee, was the school mascot, worked for enrollment as a tour guide and worked in the weight room.

What is your favorite part of being on the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I loved getting to meet new people around Benedictine. It is a small campus, but there are always more people to meet and come in contact with. This committee helped me reach out a little more and get to know more people going through the same things I am.

What are you looking forward to most about graduating?
I think I am more sad than anything, but I know it is time to move on. I am excited to see where my education takes me. I guess the mystery of not knowing where I will be in a few years from now is pretty exciting. I am interested to see how being a "big person" all plays out.

What are your plans after graduation?
After student-teaching this fall, I plan on applying for jobs in the area. I know it is hard to get a teaching job during the middle of the school year, so if that does not pan out, I plan on substitute teaching. I also plan on finding a coaching job. I have been around softball my whole life, and now that I am done playing it is time to join the coaching end of things.

What is your favorite Benedictine memory?
This is a tough one. It is hard to pinpoint one favorite memory. But if I had to choose, I would say coming in as a scared freshman and meeting all these new faces at once. Moving in freshman year was intimidating. But Benedictine is a community and it didn't take long for me to feel at home. My friends and I laugh about it now, but I wouldn't mind going back that first week of school and seeing how different we all were. We have come a long way.

Why do you think it's important for students and alumni to give back to the Benedictine community?
Just like anything, in order to keep things moving forward you have to give back. Just in my four years alone, I have seen so much happen at Benedictine – a new arena at the Rice Center, a big parking garage and a high-class fitness center. Now we are working on a welcome center. These things don't happen by chance. It takes all of us to support one another in this process of bettering the school and essentially the community.

What would you like to say to the many donors that have made a Benedictine education possible for you and countless other students?
Thank you! I have been blessed to receive various scholarships over the years and without these donors supporting me, I do not know where I would be. Benedictine is great because whether you are a current student or a graduate of 1975, we all have this same idea embedded in our heads – that we are a community and will be there for one another. These donors have proved that idea to be true. I can only hope that I add to that tradition myself one day.

 Faces_Eric Eric Taylor
Class Year: 2012
Major/Minor: Business and Economics with a concentration in Human Resource Management

Why did you decide to get involved with the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
When one thinks about the very essence of the Senior Class Gift Committee, the question becomes why wouldn't I want to be involved? To me, the Senior Class Gift is one of the last opportunities that a graduating class has to collectively impact the University. What comes out of this unity is usually something pretty special. Being part of the Senior Class Gift Committee, helped bring light to this special occurrence.

What type of activities/organizations are you involved with on campus?
I was a resident assistant for Residence Life, a member of the Student Conduct Appeals Committee and a member of Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.

What is your favorite part of being on the Class of 2012 Gift Committee?
I would have to say writing “Thank-you” letters to the people who donated was very special because of the great deal of fun we had doing it. No one complained at all about the volume of letters, and it proved to be one of our most memorable moments as a committee.

What are you looking forward to most about graduating?
Well, I don't do well with change and for the past 16 years of my life, school is all I have known during the fall and spring. Yet, I anticipate graduating because of the joy I know it will bring my hero, who is my Mother.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am going to try out for the Chicago White Sox. Just Kidding. I'm moving my belongings back home and starting work immediately.

What is your favorite Benedictine memory?
The great thing about Benedictine is that every time you think you have a great memory that tops them all, another incredible memory is right around the corner. My whole tenure at Benedictine is a great memory.

Why do you think it's important for students and alumni to give back to the Benedictine community?
Giving back has helped Benedictine come so far. Continued valuable contributions, both monetary and non-monetary from students and alumni, will help push Benedictine to newer heights.

What would you like to say to the many donors that have made a Benedictine education possible for you and countless other students?
My message remains the same, "Thank you for helping so that I only had to worry about those things I could control. Tuition increases are beyond my control, but with donors paying a third of the cost of tuition, it made education attainable for many students."

Contact Us: Jessica Gissal
Associate Director of Stewardship
Stewardship Development
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: (630) 829-1811
Fax: (630) 829-6313
Email: jgissal@ben.edu