“The Philanthropy Program, a small but mighty engine of change, cuts across the entire University." -- Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., 2008 State of the University address
The brainchild of Roger Grein, a wonderful friend of Xavier University, this program makes it possible for individual classes to have grant monies to invest in local area non-profits, thereby creating the opportunity for our students to come to know something about the rich tapestry of non-profit initiatives across the region and the important work they do. In the last eight years, more than 1,400 Xavier students have contributed more than $200,000 to more than 80 non-profits in the Greater Cincinnati community. Students and their instructors determine the goals of their investment strategy based on the learning objectives of the course, an assessment of related community needs and an evaluation of organizations working to meet those needs. In the Spring of 2011, five faculty members and their classes invested in non-profit organizations ranging from Granny's Garden School, Interfaith Hospitality Network, F.A.C.E. Turner Farm, Visionaries and Voices,and many others.
The Philanthropy Program has grown in vision and cooperation since Fr. Graham’s address. Coordinated by the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, the Program now totals $151,000 in funding awarded to 38 courses. It is hoped the Philanthropy Program would a) promote community engagement that is mutually beneficial for students, faculty, and community partners; b) broaden student understanding of course content through analytical and practical interaction with community assets and needs within the scope of course objectives; c) cultivate the value of social investment with community organizations as a means of contributing to community well-being.
The Philanthropy Program expresses our Ignatian spirituality at work by bringing together faculty, students and leaders of community non-profits to facilitate the social analysis necessary to understand today’s pressing social problems. Social theories leap out from pages of books; words become flesh and find a home in our students’ hearts. The hope of the Philanthropy Program, through the Dorothy Day Center, is that a student comes to realize cura personalis is not simply a Jesuit “tag-line”, but a way one learns to live one’s life for and with others.For more information, please contact Jim Riordan, S.J.