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Opinion

If You Could See What I See, You’d Donate Too


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Nov. 28, 2022 - 10:43 AM

If You Could See What I See, You’d Donate Too

The Newnan Times-Herald


During the holidays, like events such as Giving Tuesday, Americans donate generously.

Colleges are a popular choice. Curiously, most choose to donate to a university with a huge endowment, and are less likely to give to a smaller, lesser-known college. If you could see what I see, you’d give to a college that also serves the community, especially students who need a lot.

Before I came to LaGrange College, I had a great job in Washington, DC. I worked with a lot of graduates from the most prestigious universities in the country. And that was a wonderful experience. I saw plenty of success stories. But I began to wonder about graduates from other schools. Could I help those students somehow?

I think I shocked my professors when I gave up that position in our nation’s capital to come to a small Methodist College in West Georgia. I now teach a racially diverse, from all types of economic backgrounds, along with some home-schooled, non-traditional and international students. Some are from single-family households, and had plenty of work helping raise younger siblings. Others were adopted. Many of my students are athletes who juggle their games and practices along with a second job, driving a hand-me-down car that could use a tune-up.

Many of our students also come to our college with something to overcome, not necessarily something to prove. I think I’ve taught at least one student for each learning disability that you can imagine. And a few transferred to us from other colleges, where the struggles weren’t just academic or athletic (one had been assaulted at her prior school).

But whether there’s something in the water, or if it’s the supportive environment from the administration, faculty and staff, many find a way to flourish with the newfound opportunity.

This month, a non-traditional student got a generous scholarship to attend law school after he graduates. An athlete who overcame a lot at college to finish is getting a major upgrade in his job in the banking world. And a current student wrote such an impressive presentation for our class research project that I invited her to take the lead on presenting it at a recent conference.

The chair of the panel asked if she was a graduate student. “No, an undergraduate,” she replied, and then proceeded. “Wait…” the professor interrupted her. “You’re a freshman?” She nodded. Just imagine what he would have thought if he learned she was actually dyslexic too, as she knocked the presentation out of the park. Her classmate, a senior athletic star, was a finalist for a statewide academic award. I bet the judges didn’t know he battles seizures too.

Don’t just take my word for why donating to a college is a good investment. Hank Coleman with Money Q&A (https://moneyqanda.com/donating-money-to-your-college/#:~:text=Donating%20money%20to%20your%20college%20also%20helps%20give,classes%20of%20students%20who%20will%20attend%20your%20college) covers five great reasons why you should donate money to a college, from operating budgets to helping new students to building national rankings.

But think about where your money is needed the most, not making another contribution to a well-off school already sporting a big endowment. I can assert that when you pick a small college which assists students needing a little help in their college years, it will pay off dividends for them and this country well after they graduate.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. His views are his own. He can be reached at jtures@lagrange.edu. His Twitter account is JohnTures2.