Posted May 12, 2022 in Articles
On May 11, after three years, Radiance, Cleveland State University’s premier fundraising event, returned to the campus ballroom to celebrate over $3 million raised in support for student scholarships, programs, services and more. During the event, attendees gave nearly $12,000 more through a special text-to-give campaign.
The CSU Foundation launched Radiance in 2010 to support high-performing juniors and seniors, whose financial needs threatened their continued enrollment. During the pandemic, Radiance expanded its reach and now celebrates donors who give to a full spectrum of philanthropic opportunities which enable CSU to attract students, help them maintain momentum, and ultimately finish college.
“This community truly understands the importance of CSU,” said Julie Rehm, executive director of the CSU Foundation and vice president for University Advancement.
“To see the room filled with hundreds of enthusiastic supporters — ready and willing to empower our students — was both humbling and energizing.”
In what was the most powerful moment of the evening, Monica Hill, a senior majoring in communications, illuminated the impact of giving with her story of loss, uncertainty, but ultimately triumph.
“I went from fully doubting myself, almost crippling myself to realizing a lifelong dream,” she said.
“I know, without the shadow of a doubt, that I wouldn’t be here today without donors like you.
Your support lifted me out of one of the darkest moments of my life. You helped me to believe again. You helped me dream again.”
She walked across the commencement stage this past Saturday and graduated with honors.
As a part of the event, Nancy McCann, president of both the John P. Murphy and Kulas Foundations received the President’s Medal, the university highest non-academic recognition.
McCann served on the CSU Foundation Board of Directors for nearly eight years and while she served as Radiance co-chair, the initiative’s giving totals doubled. She remains a fierce CSU supporter and advocate.
President Laura Bloomberg, CSU’s newly appointed eight president, took the Radiance stage for the first time to highlight the power of connection and how giving benefits both the recipient and the giver.
“When our students are successful — in the classroom, the lab, the studio, on the performance stage, or on the field — we all succeed,” she said.
“When our students thrive, we thrive as a community.”