The Women of Excellence announces the winners of nearly $60,000 in Giving Circle awards

This is the second year of the annual awards program | April 28, 2010

The Women of Excellence raised more than $60,000 from donors in the second year of its Giving Circle awards program. At its annual luncheon on Tuesday, April 27, the group of women donors to Xavier announced the winning projects that are receiving $58,115 this year.

Like last year, these projects emphasize familiar themes regarding the development of women in areas where they have been historically underrepresented, such as the sciences and success for African American students. Other projects emphasize community building, service, education and addressing the issues of sexual assault and healthy relationships.

“One of our goals with the Giving Circle is to give through the lens of a woman,” said Norah Mock, executive director of the Women of Excellence. “The grants the Giving Circle is funding are those that enrich students’ lives.”

The Giving Circle allows donors to be involved in how their money is used. Membership requires a minimum $1,000 donation. The money is pooled and members vote on which proposals get funded. The key to the Giving Circle is it can pay for projects or programs the University’s operating budget cannot.

In 2009, the first year of the Giving Circle grant program, 65 members donated $45,500 and reviewed 31 project proposals. Eight were funded. This year, more than $60,000 was donated, and 25 projects were submitted. The nine winning projects for 2010 are:

• Nexus Community Garden, a project to bring the communities of Norwood and Evanston together with Xavier in developing an urban, sustainable community garden: $7,225.

• One in Four Day, a program created by Students Against Sexual Assault that brings attention to the incidence of sexual violence on college campuses including at Xavier: $6,500.

• Tuition Runs Out Day, a project of the Student Alumni Association to raise awareness among students about the importance of giving back to the University community to support future generations of Xavier students: $9,290.

• Women of Xavier Chemistry, a project of the Department of Chemistry to raise awareness of the opportunities for women who enter the science fields by sponsoring seminars on campus by successful women science graduates of Xavier: $5,500.

• Creating Relationships of Justice and Care, a project begun by Associate Professor of Theology Jennifer Beste in 2009 that includes requiring freshmen to attend an event exploring the issues of sexual relationships and the “hook-up” culture: $9,955.

• Career Road Trips to the Real World, a project of the Career Services Center offering students a two-day program of on-site visits where they can see how their majors are used in different industries: $3,425.

• Retention and Success of Female African American Students, a research project to determine why a disproportionate number of African American women leave Xavier before graduation and what can be done to remove barriers to their academic success: $7,220.

• Summer Service Internship Program, a project of the Peace & Justice Programs that places 20 Xavier students into paid summer internships to provide service to local disenfranchised populations, discover leadership possibilities and earn income: $5,000.

• Xavier Mentoring Program, a project of the Career Services Center that offers mentors to Xavier students and which needs financial support for campus-wide marketing to be successful: $4,000.