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Close to Home: Why We Give

From the Close to Home Committee:

Now is clearly a time when students and their families are facing great financial challenges. Gifts to Keene State College throughout the Close to Home faculty/staff campaign can be made in any amount to any area of campus … and will make a huge difference in the lives of our students.

Close to Home committee member Dr. Paul Vincent, Professor in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies department, spoke with Dr. Jay Kahn, Vice President for Finance and Planning, about why they make an annual gift to Keene State College.

Jay: When did I first start giving to Keene State College? My first year here. I came from a mid-western institution where it was part of the culture to make annual contributions. In addition to supporting the students, I feel it is also important to support the work of the faculty – to help grow the programs and help give students the experiences that help them excel at Keene State. We have a range of faculty that students interact with on a daily basis, but also scholars known globally that are brought here by our colleagues. These experiences and interactions enrich our students, the whole college campus, and the greater Keene community.

Paul: I didn’t give to the College as soon as I came to campus. [My wife and I] gave to the United Way and other community organizations, including our church, but it wasn’t until I took over the Holocaust Resource Center that I suddenly realized, “if I think this particular piece of this bigger organization is important to the College, I need to put some money here.” And once I started giving, it became almost habit. If that need was there for the Holocaust Center, then it’s clearly something that’s there for a number of areas on campus. [Giving] wasn’t right away for me – but it was something I started to support when I recognized the need.
There’s something I tell my students each semester: Don’t let the four walls of the classroom get in the way of your education. It takes some unwrapping, but there is so much they can learn on campus. What a recital is about, what art is about; they can go to lectures, go to so many different events across campus. These are all products of a good, undergraduate college education. We offer that here at Keene State, and making a gift to the College helps support all of these good works.

Jay: 41% of our student body represent the first generation in their families to go to college. Today, we’re reaching the same core population KSC has always reached out to and always supported. At Keene State, we’re creating an opportunity for those who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to go to college. And while endowments will fill those gaps in financial aid in the future … gifts to the College are filling the void for those students right now.

Paul: Giving to Keene State is a natural way to give back to where we’re contributing our talents and to give our students the opportunity to succeed.

Jay: When we all recognize the need, we realize that there is so much to support. There are our students, the programs that, with a margin of additional support can really flourish, and the facilities that promote engaged learning. It can actually be a challenge to decide what to give to because all of our programs deserve support.

The Close to Home faculty/staff campaign continues through Wednesday, April 25, when we will celebrate the campus’s generosity with a Thank You breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. in the Atrium Conference Room of the Young Student Center.

If you haven’t made your gift yet, please join Paul, Jay, and the other 140 faculty and staff members today by visiting or by calling Genny Alexander, Director of Annual Giving, at 358-2304. Thank you!

So why do you give?

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