The real lesson is to give back

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Why do we support the causes we do?

It often starts with a personal connection, sometimes an effective campaign, or certainly the strength of its overall impact on the community. There is usually a very clear path to why we give and like any giving relationship, it develops over time. As we get older and develop our careers we gain not only experience, but also perspective and hopefully, we are in more of a position to support the causes that mean something to us either with time or money, or both. But one of the things we can sometimes forget to support is where we learned to appreciate our impact on our community in the first place.

When graduating from college you have a million different things running through your head and while you realize this may never change, you at least feel prepared. But giving back to our alma matter can sometimes be at the bottom of our priorities in finding work, handling our debt and eventually supporting a family. I will admit that it took me some time to remember that my college education wasn’t just a bill to be paid for services rendered, but a foot in the door, the first chapter in my story. It’s certainly lead to my long support of such organizations as Causewave Community Partners, George Eastman MuseumThe Rochester Advertising Federation, and many others since my graduation. Of the many lessons I learned in my four years in college, I learned the value of a good investment, as that was what Nazareth would ensure I would become.

In recent months I’ve had the honor of being back on campus to speak to students in both the classroom and in student leadership forums and seen many incredible developments firsthand. I believe in the future of liberal arts education because it prepares people for a more human experience and a provides a vital compass for all of that unique energy we have at a certain time in our lives. I was happy when I left Nazareth College that I was armed with a skill set, a deeper sense of community, and the motivation to help causes in need even if I couldn't write them a check right away.

Now, as I look at a career that spans 20 years, I realize that one of the causes I should support the most is the very nest that this “Golden Flyer” could leave so confidently. I challenge my fellow Golden Flyer alums to make our positive experiences possible for the students of tomorrow on #NazGivingDay - Nazareth’s first 24-hour giving campaign on April 17, 2018.